Notes from Ucluelet, May – July 2017 //

The moss hung upon branches like sodden sheepskins clumped green and fat with rain. A solitary church bell summons unsteady sailors through a watery evening mass granting safe passage. Echoed a mile away by a solemn moan. A sound I hear everywhere, from my bed, from the cafes, a calf in the water I imagine.

The waves mount each other. One swells to the left, one to the right, colliding in joyful chaos over dried brown rock, cooked mud under the sun, littered with crispy seaweed.

I meet the queens of my dreams. My eyes have been open a fracture split through rock, squinting through the smog of only the things I know. They put matchsticks between the soft skin and shine torches up into the eaves.

A flaxen girl and a pearl from the ocean. Needn’t be discussed what plagues my mind like locusts on wheat sheafs, gnawed down to a nub year after year. Just warm creatures to sit beside, of the same earth as me.

Scotland on my mind, thrumming at my heart. I love to long for places I love. Sheep’s wool, balled,  catching on barbed wire, where the dangers are only the blackened ghosts and cloud spectres you bring to the moors with you. The eagles become transparent here under the late afternoon sun. But the crows, they fly low and their feathers shush like brushes on a drum skin.

A faraway language pokes the air nearby like the tap tapping of a hard paintbrush against canvas and gravel screws into the ground underfoot. Warm laughter widens and disappears around the corner with them and I regret my lack of humanity earlier by the bathroom. Remnants of an older life.

On my back the rocks shuffle beneath my legs. I am lying on a graveyard of knees and the sun is hot and I smell it on my upper lip. Water a few feet away, lapping and it makes me think I’m lying on a beach on the moon and behind me where I can’t see, the universe is falling off the edge of the horizon.

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