A FUTURE

bare feet beat against the maui grass,
past tiki torches and hundred-year-old palms,
matching the pitter-patter of raindrops
falling against unruly hair gathered into a
loose braid.
I stand before the rolling waves,
stare at the other two never-ending islands
cloaked with grey sea-foam in the sky.

between waves washing on sand and
tips of rocks peeking up from the water,
I see the ghost of footprints
dashing across soft white sand.

shadows of a familiar dancing girl
sing with the whales.
she jumps into the water;
doesn’t even make a splash.
she smiles back at me through reflections
on crashing waves.

turtles swim with her in circles
resting their heads on her shoulder.
she’s safe at sea, free from burdens.
but she grows tired, gasps for breath
that she never knew she was lacking.

her hand reaches out to me,
panicked eyes stare into mine,
body slams against an invisible glass cage.

I lean forward to touch misty fingertips. she 
clings onto me and
emerges
older, long hair unraveling to
hang straight at her waist. a phantom
voice calls to her
and in a moment
she’s gone. the beach is empty again
and flickering city lights in the distance
are the only clues I have.

I smile
and tiptoe away
from the foreign memories.

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