[A 10-day sprint: start at 250 words, add 50 every day.]

It was not without reason

They stormed the coast

Tempest in a teacup

We walked and walked

Led the girl by the hand

Left the others by the beach

Over the seawall

I won’t tell you how much I miss you

The shadows of trees on the ceiling

The light across the doorway

Nothing we hadn’t already said

Seeing you in another city

The difficult air

Unexpected, your hand on the back of my neck

We walked across the damp field

The path was blocked so we walked back

It was such a simple question

Like an invitation

What can I tell you that you don’t already know

Write you letters from this beach

The girl a memory of a child

The child no longer ours

A location I cannot identify

On this map or any other

I keep this tenuous grasp

To avoid confronting what I think I already know

“It was the nineties, things were different then”

One generation and the next

The ceiling, the doorway, the light across it

Walking to the shore in the afternoon

As if we’ve never known a day of regret

An antiseptic smell — witch hazel, rosemary

Lightning storm all night

In the morning as if you had never been there at all

Let that not be the last time

A weekend away by the shore

Blindfolded at night

Bulbs all burned out

The last call

Stumbling back out to the street

Fumbling with our pockets

A hurried embrace

Before making my way home