wanting to reach the ocean

by Megan Moss



All day in the car

I am the navigator

“If we time it just right,

we can reach the beach in time for sunset”


Turn here.


“Is this a road?”


Winding among

sand dunes and native grasses

we reach


The wasteland.


Flat grey sand stretches miles

Strewn with twisted tree trunks

weathered by the waves and the wind


I imagine storms past

Torrents of water

Rushing through lush valleys

Ripping banks bare


I trace my finger along

the bleached skeleton

of an oak.


Salt in our hair.

We climb the twisted trunk

waiting for the sun to descend.


A storm at sea blocks our view.

Pink clouds parade

above and behind

A thin orange line on the horizon


We drive our rented car on the soft sand

to the edge of the flood zone.

The tide is out.

Walking and walking

shoes schlupping with each step

wanting to reach the ocean


Finally, we see

across a flat wet mass

the turbulent

waves turning and churning

crashing back down on themselves


I think about the oak.