Here, where the land meets the sky, here. Where the landscape leans back and the world opens up, past where the cliff drops away. Stumbling and kicking stones away down the path that leads to the sea. The languid beauty of a still day, the water whispering what it sometimes roars. We came from there. Staggering, gasping, dying for air, thrust out of the warm, wet place where we were not one thing, or another, but everywhere.
I haven’t felt a loss like this before.
I realise I’ve stopped. That my pause has coincided with a lull in the air, his face swims in front of me, wrought out of the hot vapour that hangs in the air and the tears don’t want to let go of my cheek, they hang on for as long as they can until too heavy, dully they fall to the sand.
It doesn’t feel wrong – it feels like a sharp pain, like vinegar and lemon, like salt water, like a headache and like a memory I’d forgotten. But it doesn’t feel wrong, this loss. It feels like tears to the sea.
I stagger, though I don’t move. The wind stirs, and I walk on. It is all I can do. Move. Let the sea air wipe the salt water from my face, I breathe in.
It’s right that I feel this, and it will fade. But this is my offering to him – my tears – I’m returning like him, to the sea.