The need for refuge beckons her to sit on the Pacific shore at 3 or 4 in the morning. With an eased mind, images of what the Tongva and Chumash peoples saw 8,000 years ago channel into her inner eye. Were her stars, their stars? Her moon, their moon, her sea, theirs? How many times had Hailey sprayed awe over a most sacred people whose spirit now inhabit museum cellars full of shells on the Wilshire Corridor?

      Waves crawl atop of each other grasping at the salty air that dangles. Tired woman feet sink into the parts where the sand is dirty and pasty. An ancient destiny and nothing yet manifests. Tiny moist crabs send little winks of light like fire flies, only for her to see.     

      Currents swish around tired ankles inviting her to enter as a new lover does; into his soft troubled bed. Being of an unfinished spirit, she thinks of getting lost in the tremendous Pacific. Squinting, Porciuncula strains her eyes looking into the sooty darkness. Nothing but a stray speckled gull bereft of its home. She looks down at her legs wiggling to keep the briny cold at bay. Such is the juxtaposition of her emotions that the imagination’s pictorial bank issues an image of a monk on fire. Admirably grotesque. The siren of an ambulance wailing in the distance captures her attention. Surveying the gritty banks as she gets up to stroll back to the road, her eyes get stuck on a tiny heart shape shell. She smiles secretly. It’s a wink from God.

      Like a pre-historic creature crawling from primordial soup, she lumbers toward her road. Such as the Cowboys and Indians, Porciuncula too had weathered many events on this Western shore. As she sniffs the thickness of the brackish kelp in the air, her mind floats to an early age when she learned to shut away thoughts, wrangle impulses and cram words sharply down her throat into the gut.

      Porciuncula was born old in the land of the new frontier. Los Angeles. In time, words uttered by a simple child became tiny bell tolls propelling her into a black hole of law, guilt and polite despair. She had to have been born old. How else can one know to sit quietly and listen to the most infinitesimal crackles of salt water on sand as if to hear the soil pray to the sky gods of peoples and triumphs gone by?

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