At the End of the Millennium
I should have taken more care with our sacred texts, yours and mine, which after months of brooding on the matter, I recorded as a list of promises.
When the floods came, pages of promises were tossed into different boxes and shuffled through a chain of slippery relations until by accident, some of them reached you.
And off to the island they went. Which ones, I do not know.
Surely, they are castaways now and although I cannot see them, I hear them chattering when I put my ear to the sea.
And surely, I investigated, sounding the racket for parts that went a-missing.
I took extraordinary steps too. I talked to experts on late night talk radio— third eye seers, tea leaf readers, cosmic Betties. From them, I learned many things. For instance, saying Abracadabra can cure hay fever. George Bernard Shaw did not care for the work of William Shakespeare. And at any given time, there are about 200 religious causes in these United States.
Later, in a dream, your mother came to me. She kissed me on the forehead and brought me to the place where some of the words were drowned, but she was short on time.
“I am just the compass, my dear. I can point you in the direction, but you’re the one who must get wet.”
On the ferry crossing the sound that separates island from mainland, I sit in the early winter cabin. I consider the gear I’ll need to fathom the depths to which all those blameless mysteries have tumbled, and I shiver.
Tears followed them, I’m guessing. I can’t imagine they did not leave a trail.
About the Writer:
Wayne Cresser lives on an island in Narragansett Bay with his wife and dog. His work has appeared in seven print anthologies, most recently Spank the Carp 2018, online at Gravel, Shark Reef Literary Magazine, Jerry Jazz Musician, Open: Journal of Arts & Letters and Story, and in such print journals as The Ocean State Review and SLAB. Most recently he has been a Finalist, Flash Fiction Category, at The Newport Review (2012), and a Finalist, Fiction at Jerry Jazz Musician (2017).