Keālia Beach 2
Keālia Beach, Kaua’i, Hawai’I (Miranda Hernandez)

You write my name in the sand. I watch the sea water wash it away. You told me to go, but you think about me all the time. If I live, it’s because you hold me here. If I live, I live in your memory.

You wonder if I’m real. You wonder if I hear your words. You speak your mantra, say my name. You wonder if anything is worth it.

I know what you really want to talk about. I know the darkness and your fear. I know how you’ve come to hate your stubbornness, and also cling to it. Before I died, you thought it was protective.

You write my name in the sand and you scream apologies. It isn’t a question of fault. There are things that go so much deeper. I never doubted that you love me.

I know what you want to talk about. I know how it pains you when others try to chase your words away. It isn’t a question of guilt. It’s fact — if you had chosen to listen, I would be alive.

You’ve never asked me for forgiveness. This conversation doesn’t center around blame. You write my name, you scream out your apologies. Your regrets are wrapped up in the bonds of your love.

You don’t know if I’m real. You don’t know if I’ll ever hear you. You write my name in the sand, and you speak to empty rooms, and you sit with knowledge so painful that no one else is willing to hold it with you. You wonder if I hold it with you.

If I live, it’s because you hold me here. If I live, it’s all in the strength of your memories. If love could change fact, I would be real. If love could change fact, no one would ever die.

I love you too.