somewhere beyond the sea

My lover stands,
on golden sands
and watches the ships
that go
sailing.

The sky is clear, cold and lovely. The trees are richly green. When the afternoon sun drops by to say hello, the streets turn a warm golden-brown and the sun light drips through the leaves like lukewarm honey.

It is Kaleidoscopic.

We have two shots of liquor and walk through the leaf and flower. My legs flutter at the sight of the Sydney trees. They’re the kind of trees that move their limbs when you’re not looking, and converse like old men. They are hefty and old, their bones crack the concrete, and their leaves look like they’ve been drenched in wet absinthe. He takes me to a cheese room, where a small brunette woman sits on a stool inside a giant fridge and hand carves wedges of French cheese. He picks a dark yellow crumbly cheese, and a soft Parmesan, I pick a milky blue. She wraps them in waxed paper and ties them with twine.

In the car we drive south of the border west of the sun. A bottle of whiskey rests between my legs, and each time I take a sip, my stomach and throat burn like a warm fire.

We’re on an elegant, highway carved into the cliff face above the ocean. A road fit for an old Carey Grant film. A road of a similar ilk to those of the French Riviera. Not the kind of road you would like if you suffer from vertigo. The sun closes her curtains to her stage the sky and the town approaching bleeds lemon, mango and peach. We hurtle around the cliff at high-speed. Lush green mountains soar high, high, high towards the clouds, and for a while, I couldn’t tell you where we are. To the right it’s Hawaii, to the left the sunset is being painted by Turner’s hand, and I surrender and drown in its magnificence.

Vertical razor-sharp cliffs, blend with green rainforest, above a cobalt floor of fizzy ocean.

And I breathe it all in.

Home.

We park on a mountain-peak, overlooking the sea. The clouds burst books full of rain, and the leaves and earth melt with the wet to create the smell of wet sleepy lovers. It’s humid and misty, and dizzyingly breathtaking.

We sit in the wet underneath a tree on a cliff. He holds an umbrella above my head and we drink whiskey out of tin cups.

He tells me of his lost lovers. I tell him of mine, and we hold hands and watch the clouds.

We follow the stairs of the cliff to a hidden beach. It’s a shelter of white sand embracing a harbour of deep blue satin.

“I’m speechless” I say. “I can’t explain to you what this does to me, thank you.”

He smiles a perplexed smile.

We walk hand in hand, toes naked on the rocks. There is not a soul, only flowering shrub, sea, and sand. We climb from rock to rock, my limbs are only small, so he carries me across the bigger gaps until we are out in the heart of the ocean.

“I could live here” he says.

“Me too”

And we are untamed and free.

We are children here. It becomes our home. Our legs and arms shrink, until we are just a boy and a girl, hearts open, building castles in the sand without any concern that the waves might come and wash them away in the next moment. We play and collect seashells and shuttlefish. For the rest of the afternoon we live on the rocks chasing clouds and fish, burying our feet in the wet. We lie on the rocks, holding hands; I lock my eyes and listen to the waves breaking next to me and sigh.

On the walk back he effortlessly crosses from rock to rock. I have to leap. Every tenth rock or so I call out to him. “Help” and he comes back and picks me up and carries me to the next rock. He hands me a small blue starfish and I hold it close in my hand.

“Benjamin, lets swim in the sea without clothes”

He doesn’t answer. He just takes his shirt off and dives into the water. I follow.

The loose wet sand sucks our feet in, and I feel like this place wants to keep me forever, and I don’t mind, not even a little, not one bit. Time is languid and dreamy here, and nothing else matters.

Wind sirens caterwaul and night whispers her coming. We resume our voyage south and drive through the green until we discover a small town built into a mountain surrounded by sea. We pass an elderly pub where twenty nimble brides sit in white dresses under a bed of stars. We giggle and try to figure out why there are so many brides in this rain-drenched town.

We find a pink 50s motel run by a charming bohemian woman named Dolores. She tells us there’s only one room left and that it’s musty and rising damp, we laugh apprehensively and take it anyway. It’s on the ground floor next to a hibiscus tree and a garden gnome.

We pass a Bride on the way to the pub, and Ben’s eyes nearly pop out of his head in bewilderment.

“Why is everyone in this town dressed as a bride!?”

“We’re celebrating,” she says.

“Every fortnight all the women in the mountains meet, and we dress up and celebrate living, in costumes”

“But, why are you all dressed as brides?” I say.

She doesn’t answer.

Inside we drink the drink, and watch the election, and giggle at the dancing mountain brides.

“Here’s looking at you kid,” he says and we kiss as a new government takes the stage.

And so, together, talking,
Through Sunday’s honey-air
We walked (and still walk there -
out of the sun’s bruising)
Till the night mists come rising.

somewhere beyond the sea

s sansom

Paris, France

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