Dana Glover “The Beach Cottage”

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The teak wood is warped by the humid pressure of sadness distilled. The floors creak with the weight of my footsteps, steps that travel in circles through the memories that won’t be still. The curtains flutter in the ocean breeze, tattered tissue paper stained with questions I won’t ask. The windows are caked with streaks of salt, tainted with the taste of my tears. I can’t see the beach, only the remnants of a sand castle we built and abandoned in our youth. I hear the waves beyond, roaring, demanding vengeance for my absence, for my blatant escape from the years I could have spent with you.

The only furniture is the bed we once shared. Sheets outline only one body. Back then we were. One, that is. We were two instruments that gave rise only to one melody. We dreamed in unison. You provided the sound. I splashed in the color. I squeeze my eyes shut. My hands over my ears. I tremble under the suspense of the nightmare that won’t end. But there is nothing to staunch the scream that rips from my throat as I cannot remember the way you looked. I can no longer place your voice. Only that touch that made me prance like an ecstatic puppet, brought to life with bits and pieces of your broken soul.

I fling myself upon that damned bed, praying not for a lifeboat but for an anchor to drown me in you. It took me years to comprehend the sacrifice, your choice to be my friend. As you struggled to breathe, as your heart crashed against splintered ribs, I cursed you. I railed against your audacity to leave me stuck in an ill-constructed world without you. I wasn’t strong. I only feigned courage to make you smile. And you dared to call my bluff.

But Fate was not done with me, was she? I had a debt to pay for being so selfish, for taking what you offered without due consideration of the cost to you. She left me your body, lips that I could still kiss. Hair that still tempted my will to touch that which I would not claim completely. Hands that had skimmed over my body with desire, but restrained with innocence. And your eyes, the amber that I sipped like Heaven’s nectar. But Fate was cruel. Your lips would never again speak my name. Your hair would knot with apathy for me. Your hands would infuse me with a coldness reserved only for strangers. And your eyes that had once stolen my every secret, now raged at me like a wild animal unjustly caged.

In one soul, the skeins of my past, present and future were woven. And in one tick of fickle time, I was completely unraveled by a laughable destiny. But I had to punish myself, pour poison in a wound that refused to heal. My son bears your name, although not your seed. Your name tumbles from my mouth dozens of times each day, although you will never respond to my senseless echo. My words spill with the blood of our bond. Stories and poems and crumpled notes build an altar to a man that I would never have a chance to know.

I stand again in the middle of this house that regret built. I have a choice to make. Do I keep you encased in a shack of pity and disgrace? Or do I begin to reconstruct this cottage in disarray, without the skeletal remains of us? I know your answer. It is etched upon my heart, written in your masculine lines of grace. I stare at the reflection in the murky, filthy window. I raise my fist and shatter the ghostly face.

Her writings

Bio: Writer, reader, photographer. I am no mystery. I worry too much. Sleep too little. I argue too loudly. I praise profusely. I use ink to shed my tears. I am fearless unless left alone to talk to myself. Professionally unpublished but I welcome constructive critique.

 

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