Mostly, what washes up at the beach isn’t whole, though our eyes are peeled
for the perfect form of, say, a perfume bottle, or an old coin, or a message from the dead.
Instead, what reveals itself as the tide pulls back is a sea of uncertainty, cryptic shards
with the vaguest clues whose answers are scattered in places likely too far from here.
We will never retrieve them, not in the way our mind craves assembly.
But look how, against the late season light, a filmy beauty descends, nearly silencing
the clamor of what pulls at our sleeves to solve. What if we could let ourselves rest
for a little while in this halo of I don’t know, feel its soft touch against our urgent skin.
What if the thing in our hands, and every fractured remainder, is its own answer. What if
leaning into the wobbly shapes of our lives is another kind of sweetness and gold.

Listen to the poem:

Posted by kind permission of the poet
Photo by Bill Aboudi

Maya Stein

Maya Stein

About the author

Maya Stein is a Ninja poet, writing guide, and creative adventuress. She has kept a weekly short-form poetry practice, “10-line Tuesday” since 2005, and facilitates writing workshops in person and online. After a 7-year stint in suburban New Jersey, she is now happily ensconced in the wilds of mid-coast Maine, in a house named Toad Hall. Connect with her at (Photo by Chris Battaglia)