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The Sea of Grass


She peered through the long blades of grass, pushing herself upright. The sharp tips swayed back and forth, carving drunken calligraphy into the empty blue ocean of a sky. She stood and turned, and the world whirled. The wind picked up her hair and gently twisted it in callous fingers. She saw, there: the waves broke. There was a city in the sea of grass, brown and rigid and far away. She took one step and then another, the wind nudging her back and forth like a hungry mare, prodding her to join the emerald tide. But there were voices, too, in that wind. She walked, but with each step they whispered for her to turn.

The city is dead, they sang: Silent and still and staring and stagnant.

She resisted. Her heart yearned. The city. She had been there once. She remembered.

Twist, they sang. Twirl with us. Turn around.

She kept walking. The city blurred and foamed in the heat.

The wind is life. The sea is life. The dance is life. Behind you.

Step, step. The grass was rough and tugged at her clothing. The city was so far.

The wind buffeted her from behind. Sadness, there, they said. Love there, they warned. Loss there, they whispered.

She had stopped, and, realizing it, started again. There were faces in the city, faces that were slipping away. The sky was so big; the horizon endless. But the city. Only the city.

Twisting, spinning, dancing, they whirled. Forget, forgive, forewarning, come here.

Her heart remembered something, something there in that city. She had to return.

Dance with us, sing with us, swim with us.

She turned. The grass was alive, rippling and glinting in the sun, washing to her feet. It was beautiful. Alive.

The sea, the sea, the softness, the song.

She was kneeling again, the grass once more waving across her vision. Back and forth, pointed tips pointing to the blue, blue sky.

A starry kaleidoscope of emerald and sienna, azure and sapphire. Far below and beneath it all was another spiral of echoing form, stirrings of yearning and memory, of pleading eyes on familiar faces, of self and heart and love.

But here there was none of that. Here there was only wind. Only whispers, the twisting of her hair, the cyan sky, and an endless sea of grass.