When the boat loved the threshold, it called to a boy whose face was already contaminated by distance and showed him the million gleaming eyes, the glittering dancing at the tips of waves, and crash and spray, the far-away places flying on loud winds as breeze – the rush of his blood found kin. The boy accepted the paper raft and his name, re-written, Wind Sailor; the currents, and waves, and breezes, and tides were his to listen. The boy-now-Wind Sailor belonged to the coast, like a cliff, like the piling moss and seaweed, like new sand meets old sand, the Wind Sailor to this no-land.
Before the hint of sun, Wind Sailor carves the darkquiet, pulling the boat into the hiss of foam, an absent cold; the shore allows it since it never remembers the scar; the starless ocean rises from his toes, up his calf, dissolving the goose bumps that came with the homely touch of water reaching beneath the boat and lifting; the Wind Sailor finds his place. Guiding them east for the yawn of daybreak.
The boat, in a meanwhile silence, watched; shrugging off sleepiness, the growing inconvenience of fatigue, the shock of potential, when the sun commanded all things to ease back into darkness. Change! and witness; to give sky and water a body, blue, for the tankers, and swimming free folk, and the bird divers, and the transit of fish and fishes; the quietening of the lone, loud and predatory, the descent of shadows into an unbothered dark, until; it was all in motion. The boat sat serene, bobbing to currents & flow & change, this was at-home.
The Wind Sailor with his feet steady, twisted his hips and threw his arms out – a shadow exhaled into the black water – to pull something off its transit and into his path. And it was easy, knowing when the fish would start up again, leading themselves into him, through the currents, the language of things; this solitude, in the middle of elsewhere, granted him a patient listening, he heard the here-and-after of all things, the ebb & call; you will return.
The shadows curled – tamed by a petty orange bloom biting into their hold. Horizon is the first to wake: dark unweaves, unbends and straightens, wave after wave, and here-and-there return to a line; Distance is next to unravel into color and fate, desire – in another place, not here – and destination.
The bloom explodes: into it everything vanishes, after it everything resolves. The sea body wearing the colour of fire roars for the procession of light; the glittering and wink dressing each crest; the surface rises and falls – always – in the joy of being touched by light again; flexing curves and snarls and serrated peaks and smooth skin; shadows turn water to satin; and even on this burning body night clings; delight and fear me, says the wave.
The Wind Sailor strums the shadows, dedicated and calloused, his muscles weaving divergent lives, netting them with gentleness, into his brilliance. His catch pulled in – his watch ended. Water crashes against its only resistance, the boat; glass beads refract in their brief grasp of integrity, globed on the tip of his oily hair, describing the fabric of rope, thread, and follicle as wet. He sat down.
And the song goes: day breaks, distance remembers and reminds, longing refuses to fade with night, and everything now looks to horizon and yearns – for nothing, to dissolve, a vanishing point, the fiery glint in every eye: the currents, and waves, and breezes, and tides – they all speak the tale of change & return. The Wind Sailor listens.
Then-shadowed now-silhouetted the boat is shore-bound, in roiling white plume and foam, and truly, a pitiful crash; these waves tired from the opening act; and the border crossed when it all started is only just a dream now; a nation begins in the imagining of a line; this sureline has never been, will never be, is never far from where he started, the Wind Sailor returns with much more than shadows as witness. He returns with a bountiful catch and the unmistakable glint of someone used to wealth.
The Wind Sailor carves this longshore, past ancient rocks – a mountain in the leaving tide, a steppingstone in the rise – past the parts of this land used to drowning – this history is long – the sand allows it since it never remembers the scar; only his gods keep the score.
The Wind Sailor (the silhouette of a boy) – exhales; his feet sandy and wet on a rocky track, salt and the morning in his chest – carries his catch to shore; he felt heavy then vast then full. Everything has changed.