The Last Day at the Beach

Bailey Cohen-Vera

Once, a woman walked on the beach at the same time each day sometimes after the wind was so still not even grains of sand would move. On the next eerie afternoon she could place her foot exactly where it had been the day before this gave her a happiness that was more like comfort. Eventually the woman became so punctual and reliable that the moon began to wait on her meditation in order to know when to wax and wane. Into evening the waves would lap at her smooth ankles. There were never any storms. One day there was a storm. Still the woman trudged onward. The sea that had come to depend upon her raged and raged. A man walked out of it and confused her for the sad princess of Santa Ana, but the woman told him that the princess had died so long ago she was now mostly myth. Upon being informed he was mistaken, he returned to the water and drowned. Now they were both alone. At this the moon was very upset. “I sent him to you so that he would bring you up into space all I wanted was some company!” The woman brushed a cloud off the moon’s whimpering cheek. “You are several centuries late. I have been too good to you and you have lost all track of time.” When the moon wept, it made nonsense of all the waves. The woman went home. Listening to the sound of rain on her rooftop, she squeezed a lemon into her tea. It was the last day she would ever go to the beach. She burned her throat. She felt at peace. She dreamt of beautiful cities, emptied of all their gold.


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