On a Jetty

May 5, 2007 at 5:30 AM

For Cha


It’s been nearly a decade since that quiet evening at Kalayaan Apartments when we spoke to each other as young adults. Today I’m returning there from having been part of Charm and Ben’s wedding.

The morning after, I saw sea urchins cracked open on unworn coral, in a tidal pool left in the ebb of the sea, their needles gesturing at the salt and sky.

The evening of that day, I spoke with you, lying on my back, on a concrete jetty, on the silent water face up at the moon veiled by cottony cirrus and altocumulus. I had been expecting, yet not dreading, to feel some wistful sadness of sorts, of the coming May day eve, of watching my friends come completely into their own, and of leaving our early adulthood behind.

I spoke of this to you, and of many other things, speaking upward into space, so naturally I heard no memory echo of your voice recreated in my mind’s ear, only the gentle murmur of undulating waves bathing hard coral. I could fall into the sky, thrust there by the languid near-silence of the sea, by the absence of your voice.

From up shore, the rhythms of Latin American music, the tinkling sound of an upended rainmaker, and the voices of children of two families, carry out to sea, past this twig of concrete, my perch beneath the sky. Fingerlings skimming the surface of the water to my left and to my right, they catch fragments of those voices and music and, sensing nothing ordinary, dart back down to seek their meal and shelter among tendrils of faintly luminous blue…

A man rises from his back off the concrete, dusts coral sand off his back, appraises the faintly glimmering spectral ring limning the edges of a waxing moon.  He thinks, perhaps it will drizzle lightly this evening, and hopes that tomorrow’s sky will be clear. He is content to remember and to speak with an old love under a peaceful sky, on a quiet sea, and to hear the voices of children and his friends.