Kamari Beach at Night

Emma Payne

"One's destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things."

- Henry Miller

"No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow."

- Lin Yutang

The waves roar and crash into the beach, 

foamy teeth biting into the sand.

I sip my wine, black

in the faint streetlamp light.

Strong and dry, it slides down my

throat, warming me to my fingertips.

I'm going to jump into it, I say to myself. 

Shed my hoodie, leave on shorts

and a top. Race to the waves, dancing

across rocks sharp on the soft arches

of my feet. Coy, the water recedes

as I approach, only to rush back, breaking

against my calves, flooding the beach

once more. The waves drag sand back

out to sea, pebbles skittering across

my toes with a sound like rain on

dry earth. I wade into the ocean's

inky depths, boat lights flickering

across wave tops, trusting my feet

to guide me through the unknown.

I'm up to my thighs now, salt in the air, 

heavy on my tongue. A wave, white

foam already spilling from its crest, 

barrels towards shore, towards

me. Feet apart, I brace myself

as the water slams into my chest, 

bubbles swirling around my legs. 

It leaves as quickly as it came, 

icy tides taking my breath with it.