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THE BEACH -- Accepted


"The Beach" was accepted by Emerge Literary Journal.

***
THE BEACH
after the tsunami on 3/11/2011 

Grandmother packs dried 
persimmons in a plastic 
bag and walks to the beach. She writes 
Father’s name on a wooden 
stick when his body is buried 
in the sand. I trace 
the wrinkle around his mouth. My nails 
catch a million pieces of crushed 
shells. There are countless 
bodies along the shores. I see 
a picture of Father 
holding me, laughing, on his sixtieth 
birthday. Last February, 
he was here. We ate 
the persimmons together. 

Grandmother says she does not 
dream about him, so 
I don’t. Seagulls cry so 
hard by my ears. I  
remember the way he called 
my name. 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 
Father will finally 
become holy, but I do not have 
a pillow. It would be too 
cold to sleep on the tombstone. 
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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