Her eyes slid across the water like a broken compass needles, points skittering over the chopped, blue shreds tangled within sheers of silver cloud, of emptiness stretching from footprint to oceanic horizon; of crying gulls, of salt scraping their lungs with every shriek as waves crashed and curled into the powdery ecru.

It was for nothing if not for the sorrow of the scene. The leaves in her palm always leave her eyes, escaping for the autumn and the red of winter. It is a small presage, a characteristic not transcribed, a feeling unfolding between their palms like the tide twisting over coiled rock. The ocean… That was an entirely different feeling altogether. But, "All without reason…" -- the hush. The huuuussssssshhhh like the dampened coils of every watery grave was felt, just altogether differently, cuttingly, severely challenged and damaged. Always at play in the width of the waves.

And bereft of a cause? They never are, not as she presses a digit to his lips, a slender cut of white in their borderline diorama, an existence that was, "Always without reason."

An empty room remains untouched by dust, branches crossing each other like corset ribbons beyond vacant, real-life landscapes of glass. Silent echoes beyond the wall remain, crashing and untying every single tide, pelagic or nostalgic, washing away every blue trace. He remained, lips parted to taste oxygen…

The antiques towered above like mourning doves, if not singing requiescats for the world, than for the tiny, porcelain comb on the dresser that would never rake auburn curls again, a sea shell of beauty in a puddle of oak carpentry. Inhale the scent of flowers artificially brewed; the light, lavender mist cloaks the quick silver of vain memories as the mirror gapes with its silver jaws at the empty bedroom, stretched open wide, unable to taste the oceanic scene. Exhale the warmth, the beauty, the femininity, the vicissitude of eventide dulling centenarian window panes, and know, as the sun turns the ocean into a peach orchard by setting, that the hush of the tide is, "All without reason; always without reason." Because it never needed one to exist.

Her ashes littered the ocean like a dash of Earl Gray, before they had spoken, even; before he had asked for her name in the clashing and the clattering of waves. Ariel? He whispered, and the sound was like honey, syllables sliding in a golden haze, still sweet on the tongue as it balances on his taste buds. Julia? Cassandra? It could have been anything, a name as shining as the open bay.

Remembrance brings him to a shade: her ashes were white, flickering, and shining like clusters of pearls in foreboding anklets.

"Unimportant," she laughed, a tintinnabulation that skated around the rim of the church bell in the sky, a glowing, yellow piece of sun to weld the fibers together. "I did not come here for a name."

"Or for love?" He returned, smile flecked with glee. She stopped. Looked up. Startled into silence. A slender finger hovered in the air, fingernail jutting into the sky as if to offer itself to that silver, hovering scissor of cloud.


"So wrong of me to say it this early, but --"

The finger pressed itself to his lips.

No words, no confessions, just sunset, and calling gulls, and silence.

She let the words hover with thought and with reason.

He had crafted the bedroom of intricate furniture and polishing. Spent hours on it, days, weeks, ink blotted days etched out on the calendars with encouraging Xs, the pattern of his victory.

And the lavender, the bed sheets, the hungry mouth of the oval mirror, the reflection of his weary body painted over quick silver as the tide crashed outside like shattering glass; glass condemned to shatter over and over again – was not enough.

Her eyes, he knew – her ghost, her foot prints dissolving into the fragments of sea foam – would remain forever rooted to the shore, unable to carve footprints into the soft, tear drenched sand, not of her own sorrow, but perhaps of the world in a lament for this catastrophe – of forlorn lovers separated by death, forever locked on that lonely shore.

She felt the autumn leaves fallowing around her ankles as they turned with the water, lost in moisture, sliding past her skin like the fingers of autumn. "Lost in thought?" She echoed. It was a ripple on water, dissolving beneath her skin.

"Close," he brightened, face weathered from so many things, perhaps salt, perhaps water, perhaps time in its unanticipated ebb. "Memories. Events that never really happened." Inhale – remember the lavender? The scent of the walls in their conch swirls of paint? – An exhale brings the waves to a silent hush. "Did you really come here to find love?"

Sadness climbed onto her features as a sea gull ascended a dune, hands folding over his shoulder, a perfect, sinewy cushion for her slight, angular chin that was lighter than sea foam. "No," she confessed. And the waves fell silent, the little mermaid quenched of her songs. The dulcet hum of the ocean is a darkened, terrifying abyss if the shore is left for a heartfelt wandering. "I came to find death."

And the words she would never let him say, hushed by a silent finger, huuuuuusssshhed -- All without reason? Always without reason – spiraled into the cool depth of a sweeping wave, batted between the grains of sand, winnowed by the fins she once had. "Life in the Pacific was less than free?" He asked, eyes as adrift as her former adventures.

"Less than?" She recoiled. Disdain clung to her voice like the oppression that brought her there. "Not less than. Far too much freedom, a life without belonging and without end. It was all without reason…" The leaves around her feet were suddenly in her hands, the crispness of autumn setting in – "Always without reason."

And she was supposed to turn to foam, she knew, and he knew; a spatter of pearl dancing on lonely shores.

But a love without reason is a reason to stay.