francesca sits at the sill with swarthy legs dangling seaward. their holiday home cliffs off to the heaving ocean and together they sigh in a breathy unison. wind gushes around her, quieting her with a 'shhhhh' and gently suggesting a fall. she licks dry lips and almost succumbs to the wind's murmurs. how easy it would be for her to slip and fall weightlessly into the warm sea that held her as a child.
every april they come here and every may they leave once more. francesca leaves the city behind- and with bottles of sand and broken shells she tries to bring the sea back with her. but inspiring smoke and exhaling city air will never really be breathing, as pavements and bitumen will never be hot sand between her toes.
the ocean does not hide its desire for the girl. it aches to swim across her baked-earth skin and cling to her heavy eyelashes long after she has surfaced. its throbs and crashes against the shore with a reckless yearning. look at that, her mother had sighed once, even the sea has fallen in love with my francesca.
and only the sea has my heart, she had whispered.
arcs of birds skylarking above the horizon cry aloud for the setting sun. it will rise again, francesca tells them, smiling. they break into a birdsong of beautiful girls upon ledges and below water. they sing for her the way she sings for the world in the morn. the sun sets in golden hues and the birdsong stills into the ever susurrus of sea. sun becomes moon. it leaves a pool of white light on her ocean; flickering and flashing bright in the almost-night. she watches with reverence and the world watches back.