At the end of it lies the beach
and water rimmed with white.
A gust passes over. Lids lull down.
Thousands of needles coat the path
incarnadine. You point out
every track is red.       I can’t see it.
Your speech, lined with absence,
is a gust passing through
and says, Survey the western sea,
its vast westerness, and try
to think. What’s stopping
me? The needles are almost
a pattern. The sand is
definitely a pattern. The words
you say are in a pattern
I recognize but do not
help me fill space. You rim it
in red. In the deep sea,
absence belongs. Like with
the two of us standing next
to each other. Each stands
next to no one and no
one in between. I take
the hand of no one.
A line of pelicans glide
above the water’s surface,
beaks hung a sliver open.

Emily Wolahan is the author of HINGE and her poetry has appeared in journals such as OmniVerse, Gulf Coast DIAGRAM and the Boston Review. She is a co-editor at JERRY Magazine and lives in San Francisco.