gallery Fossils and Sea Glass

This morning I took a train to Mexico.  The track edged along a bottle green sea.  The end of the line was the most perfect photo opportunity.   Sun and water glistened in a sphere, but I couldn’t bring the lens into focus.

I walked into town, picking over cobblestones and through the smoke of roasting garlic.  Words engulf me.  I understand even if I can’t communicate.

No one wants to hear my lecture.  But there’s a woman with a kind face. Tells me she’s heard me talking with my children and knows we collect fossils and sea glass.  She shows me what she’s found on the beach, handles it like a precious object and says she needs to catch the train back.

I cradle her offering and dismiss the rest of the students. Their faces, so disinterested when I speak, show relief at leaving. I hold the broken coffee mug for a long breath and then it slips from my fingertips.

You sent me a message on Instagram.  We’re meeting in New York this afternoon. I think I remember the place, but I can’t find the address.  The station is a tunnel. It’s confusing.  I am not sure which is a train, and which is a bus. It’s crowded.  No seats open so I find a spot on the floor.

There are racks of clothing and men in sports jerseys going to New Jersey with their sons. The grey cat with a clipped ear is with me. He climbs up into the luggage rack and goes to sleep. I worry for him. What if he doesn’t stay with me?

I  tell the people about the bottle green sea outside the window. They are perplexed. No one can see anything on account of the storm. I’m still searching for your message, but I can’t find it.  The air is hot and smells of animals.  I clutch the grey cat and we rattle north.


By  Kate Abbott


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