“Summer Solstice, Batticaloa, Sri Lanka”

Summer Solstice,
Batticaloa, Sri Lanka

The war had turned inward until it resembled
suicide. The only soothing thing was water.
I passed the sentries, followed the surf out of sight.
I would sink into the elements, become simple.

Surf sounds like erasure, over and over.
I lay down and let go, the way you trust an animal.
When I opened my eyes, all down the strand
small crabs, the bright yellow of a crayon,

had come out onto the sand. Their numbers, scattered,
resembled the galactic spill and volume of the stars.
I, who had lain down alone, emptied,
waked at the center of ten thousand prayers.

Who would refuse such attention. I let it sweeten me
back into the universe. I was alive, in the midst

of great loving, which is all I’ve ever wanted.
The soldiers of both sides probably wanted just this.

Marilyn Krysl,
quoted by Deborah Oak on her blog,
branches up, roots down

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