Islands haunt my sleep. Sometimes they come during the day, so I can’t be sure if I live on the island beneath my feet or the ones in my dreams, nor whether my dreams are memories. Perhaps I imagined them all, just as I imagined the laughter of the men I shipped with and the blast of the torpedo that took them from me. I like to think my friends found islands of their own, though I saw no others in the water. If I hadn’t been on the wing of the bridge, I’d never have lived to see another grain of dry land.
I try to conjure their faces, their voices, and place them on my dream islands. When all I see is more islands, I want to walk into the sea and join my friends.
I never do. When the water touches my feet, it washes away the siren song of memory with the animal fear of drowning.
That’s how I come to be sitting on this beach, waiting for the ship or the plane I don’t believe will ever come.