Hand and hand we make our last pilgrimage. I remember you traced the silver scars on my fingers with your thumb. You smelled of your bed and lavender, flashing your teeth as you laughed. We talked of life and death, of prayers and old religion; the difference in thoughts and the way we spoke, the difference in the sky.

We made our way to the sea at the edge of the city, where the moonlight scraped the buildings, the air alive with the sound of wind and gulls.

The beach at night is like stepping into another world. It is a place of the in-between. You cannot see the sea well, but you can hear it. The incessant lap of its hands back and forth on the shore. The tides etched across the sand and its pools reflecting the moon above – small and pale pearls. The sea was a pulse. A rush. I told you how it was the cradle of life, the womb where all things came from. Earth’s oldest organ, birthing epochs. From there we surfaced and walked onto land as if it were some gifts between lovers – flowers delivered on a loving whim.

We came and perched by the tide, arm in arm and head on shoulder. We listened to the sea’s roar and gazed at the night above. I think you held me tighter that night. You spoke of hospitals and therapy and God. I spoke of memory, the handprints on faraway cave walls. When we kissed, I knew it was the last time and I could taste the salt of your tears as they smeared against your lips. You never told me why you cried; that was a secret for the moon above, her quartered eye as a witness. As testimony.
Put the shell to your ear. Hear the earth’s lamentations.
It’s starting to rain.