It is quieter than quiet. A seabird lands on deck, squawks his lonely squawk. It’s his hello but the woman shoos him, tells him to go.
She wants to be alone with the toenail moon and the shadows all around, with the familiar line surrounding her, where dark night touches down on black ocean. The wind is light. The sails sigh and sometimes thwonk. But mostly she is lulled by the sound of nothing, the heave and hush of swell on hull.
Ahead lies the longest line, the measure of her existence. It’s invisible but real, parting the world in two. North and South: will they feel as different as before and after, then and now, life and loss? Will the South Sea soothe her Chesapeake soul? Will Acrux tug like Polaris used to pull? Will ghosts come to her now, whisper stories from shared history? Will they feed her future, warm her salt skin, will her on?
I hear you, brother. I remember when you strummed harmony with your hands. I see your forever grin.
The bird returns. She asks him where he’s from but he flies away and fades to shadow. And she sails on, west by southwest, the taste of tomorrow on her tongue.