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Desires are already memories
I have come to expect
too much of the ocean.
 
The tide is out again
researching the month.
 
Somewhere to the north
lies a heart-shaped reef –
 
here, a scarab mid-hegira
from its burning island home
 
clutches in death
a charred Banksia leaf,
 
bloated and afloat only because
of its legs’ grim marriage
 
with the leaf’s serrated edge.
And now I recognise
 
in its tough, unprisable grip,
the grasp and clutch and grab
 
and quip of everyone
who’s ever known
 
what it means to not let
go the only thing to come
 
their way amid the salt scrim
and vicious sprint of the wind.
 
A union, then, with leaves and other
small commuters on the gust
 
of some apparent consequence;
for, what we seek to hold to
 
when the world has
loosed its hold on us
 
may be what prevents us
from never having been.
 
Could it be the wind discloses
what we cannot relinquish,
 
even in death, then carries us
from our hearths to foreign beaches,
 
there to hit upon what each we must,
what it means to be alone, at last
 
even if only another island in the bay?
 
Sadness comes in a wave:
the ocean has no stake
 
in this, betrays no particular desire,
nor any to remember –
 
perhaps begrudging each our tiny fire.