The sand retreats, and out among the steeple-flint, embedded in clay, cicada-people, larval, shadowless people appear along the shingle’s length as if in protest against the living.

With splintered teeth, obscenely twisted mandibles, their cracked skulls hum to the low frequency of wind, their bones lie stiff as a clean horizon, and I feel something like a stone forming in my memory as I look down at them.

So I sit with them until the night, the still water takes them back, and I notice the pull of silence, sand rolling over dunes, the methodical movement of the moon along its orbit. I notice a rigid reflection in the swell, a distant wave breaking, a death’s knell.

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