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THE BEACH - Poem

THE BEACH

My grandmother packs dried
persimmons in a plastic
bag and walks to a beach. She writes
my father’s name on a wooden
stick when his body is buried
in the sand. I trace
the winkle around his mouth. My nails
catch a million pieces of crushed
shells. This is
after the tsunami happened, so
there are countless
bodies along the shores. I see
a picture of my father
holding me and laughing on his sixtieth
birthday. Last February,
he was here. I ate
the persimmons with him.
My grandmother says she does not
dream about him, so
I don’t. I kind of
remember the way he called
my name. Seagulls cry so
hard by my ears. Before I rebuild
his house, I will take him to a real
graveyard. I will buy a lot of
tombstones. His name
will be engraved on them.
Do you remember the neighbor’s yapping dog?
It is dead too, so
I will give it a small stone. I know
my father will finally
become holy but I do not have
a pillow. It would be too
cold to sleep on the tombstone. My grandmother
says I cannot sleep until
he is in the graveyard. I tell her
I am digging the body
up right now. And I carry it
to the hill. The tombstones
are arriving. I have plenty.

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