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Coquina by David Holloway

This time I came back as a coquina, a clam the size of a child's fingernail. I tunneled along the warm sand of a beach, somewhere, somewhen. Buried myself deep, sightless, deaf to the rush of water and wind. I tasted the constant salt, salt, salt of the ocean, and felt the scratch of fine white sand. Thousands of my brethren moved with me, jostling, pushing, squirming through the wrack of the shoreline.

I dug, then surfaced to twist and spin like a dervish, gyrating in the water before I reburied myself. I moved constantly and ecstatically. I ascended into new waves that were the same waves and then burrowed again. Blind, I was oblivious to my delicate ivory shell shot with rays of blue and purple.

The sameness of my days was a blessing, the lack of senses a deep pleasure, and the feel of the water, the sand, and the pull of the tides, grace. Unencumbered by understanding or asking, my life stretched just as long as it needed to. Days didn't drag, hours didn't race. The beat of the waves and tides on the shore made up my full rich reality. I had never been closer to the Godhead.


David Holloway lives, reads, and writes from Northern Virginia. He has had poetry and prose published in Kayak, Gargoyle, The Offbeat, and The Mad River Review. He won the December 2015 Southeast Review Writing Prompt contest with his short story, "How I Became the Cheeseburger Kid."

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1 Comment

asha j
asha j
Jan 26, 2022

the eternal drama of rebirth and purpose and purpose in rebirth captured in a few starched, salty lines:)

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