By Ru Freeman

From the bottom of the closer ocean

I scrape sand into a plastic bottle.
I don’t know the color of the waves that crash over my head
When I go under
I only feel that here, only here, in this one place,
A small rise that can be accessed by braving a sudden deep,
The sand is like water
It escapes through my fingers when I come up
Not for air, only to pour brown liquid, the color of my skin, into

this sacred vessel

Before the next swell
Sinks me
My brother says there is plenty of sand on the beach
Along with shells, beach towels, an American Frisbee
I brought home as a gift for his daughters.
I don’t want sand. I want the turbulence of my gatherings
Digging in defiance of the currents that reach and grasp and pull

me farther

Than I have gone
Farther than the country that slips and slips through my


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