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  • Michelle Cordova

Bodega Bay June 1, 2021

The bulk of the below piece was written with the bay by my side, and the smell of grilled fish tacos in the air. Enjoy. MC


Sometimes I forget to look up at the moon. In the day, the moon is a pale ghost, pressed in blue. Funny, to forget something so big and awe-inspiring. Arrogant, really. Like my life is so important when there’s this big moon up there all of the time. Thoughts like this wind through my mind, as my car winds over the roads, getting closer to the coast.

The smell of fried seafood greets me as I turn the corner to ocean. Gifts of the sea. I’ve always set time aside to think of how powerful the ocean is. So full of life under the surface, but so brutal, capable of taking life, too, at any minute.

“Slow for Flowers” the roadside sign read back there, but the flowers never came. The coastline, a stream of consciousness, bringing these words to me. Gifts of words. Nothing much will become of it, except a writing down of words. It’s time to get back to writing down words in public places. Writing down words over coffee, tea, a pair of grilled fish tacos. Thought, word, deed.

I stand back from the cliffside, afraid the urge to jump will take over, or the urge to push will take over someone else. Strong urges at cliffside. First time alone in a place I’ve come my whole life. Memories of a life before this with my family. Memories of coming here with you. “The Birds” first brought my family here. A love of wine brought Hitch here. California wine.

Sea lions circle the harbor, while some laze, sunning themselves on the wharf. A harbor seal seeks a fish offering, eyes peeking above the water surface. A California Gull lands on the pier beside me. The gull looks at me, asking for food. Unless the gull can eat words, I have nothing to offer. A wealth of words.

A fire crackles nearby. Antisocial me takes over. “Privacy Please” on the doorknob.

Beach day provides smells, I long to bottle up, and take home with me.

I get the call. Sleep a restless sleep.

The next morning , my father is gone, but the memories of my life in Bodega Bay still linger, held eternally, in the soft moan of the fog horn.

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