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  • It was September 11th
    Not that September 11th, but years later
    It had been a long warm rainless summer, a summer that overflowed its boundaries
    The night before had gone late with wine and vespertine in the yard
    A hidden place, fairy tales for adults
    I thought only of the ocean when I woke
    Summer would not end
    We would put our toes in the sand, sun on our skin
    Blueberries and strawberries, three cups
    A tropical disturbance far away had caused some waves
    Black shapes moved up and down on the swells
    Empty lifeguard chairs stood facing the sea
    A small narrow triangular red flag flew above the cabanas
    We only wanted to get wet
    We went in together
    So warm for September
    The water splashed around our knees
    A creeping army of swells
    And then, no earth to touch
    Euphoria mingled with fear
    A careful control to my voice
    Take her in, take her In
    A realization
    My arm around her small frame
    I left him
    Sideways, out of the rip
    The horizon narrowed and stretched
    Pulled at the sides, a taut rubberband, growing ever thinner
    The buzzing became louder, and more distant
    Damn
    Then…a brush of sand
    Flecks of gold, glinting…propelled upwards in slow circular designs
    I pushed her from my arms
    pushed her towards the strand
    go forward
    don’t stop
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