Children of the Moon, Chapter 18: A New Day

To read the preceding chapters, please go to the Prologue. This is the final chapter.

Mira found her father in Jose Marti Park
with a gaggle of men playing chess;
he looked up at her:
Only you cared enough to find me;
together they sat by a fountain

He lived with relatives near the site
of a Spanish garrison built at the mouth
of the Miami River in 1567, soon after destroyed
by the Tequesta and Ais tribes; 200 years
later, the tribes’ survivors left Florida for Cuba

He told her he had seen Primitivo:
He’s doing well; he likes it where he is;
and then her father confided:
He shocked me, though; he said he saw
a man leaving Blanca Cors’ house that night.

A man, not a boy, not Sandy;
he never said anything because
he thought no one would believe him.

Mira responded urgently:
He has to tell the police!
Her father nodded and took her hand:
I went with him to the tribal leaders
and we talked to the police and FBI.

At the prison, Morris Rubra informed Sandy:
Evidence has surfaced to show you are not
the one guilty of the attack on Blanca Cors;
another man has been identified,
and he has confessed.

Sandy rose to his feet, confused, searching:
Why did he wait so long?
All along he must have known.

The lawyer replied:
He believes the system is corrupt
and your conviction proved his case;
I’m told he reveled in the irony,
and watched you like a hawk

It was only when he knew we had him
dead to rights that he decided to revel
instead in the stories of his carnage;
he’s the same man indicted for the murder
of the woman whose remains Mira discovered.

Sandy took a deep breath:
I mourn his victims and I mourn his loss
of innocence.

Morris Rubra placed a hand on his shoulder:
It’s time for you to think of the future.
This evening, you’ll be released;
Sandy pressed his hands to his eyes:
Thank you.

Laurel walked with the grace of a dancer,
her laugh as infusive as a citrus in bloom;
she was a tower of songs; when she spoke,
her words were preceded by veil-like, dancing
sands across Sandy’s stomach and chest

When he finally heard her, the tones
were rich and slow, heavy fragrant flowers,
almost possible to touch

At the ranch Sandy felt a terrible pain,
a numb, aching nostalgia,
as the world tipped from view;
he saw it all as though from a separate place,
scaled down visions, distant, skewed

In the corral horses were swirling, whirling,
performing in formation; too many horses
at the rodeo, racing in every direction

A series of shocks and jolts disengaged
him from the center, but he struggled
to hold on and keep his balance
as gravity played havoc,
and then he began to fall

He confided to Laurel:
It’s no good. I don’t belong here anymore;
she took him to the beach house,
and in the cradle of echoing dunes
the ebb and flow soothed him

A fishing ship began its long slow turn
into the channel, an opalescent shoreline
turned its face to the moon:
a bright and translucent reflection
washed over them, mating with their own

They lay beside each other on a desert
of blue and white sands, in isolation
formed by their desire; Laurel touched him;
he broke apart, as when the Earth expanded
and continents formed new worlds

On the imprintable sand, they made love
dappled by moonlight and shadow:
two Pierrots

They fell away, drifting down in currents
to the ocean floor, and the ocean’s voice,
the echo of its power, was silenced
by summer heat as they rose again
far above the waves

At Key Biscayne Mira watched the city
sail away; a ship moved slowly on the horizon,
dragging time by its heels; the ruins of Vizcaya
vibrated before brazen hotels and mansions;
she belonged to both worlds and neither

Sunlight fell in a glittering torrent on the bay,
a river of gold pieces spilling out before her,
and she hoped the streaming water
would carry away all her sorrow,
all her father’s and her friends’ losses

She wanted to see far into the future,
and so she asked Will to meet her
at the Cape Florida lighthouse

The past was a treasured pearl,
enclosed in a rough exterior,
preserved in both of them,
but she wondered what would happen
when the past was exposed to the light

She found the old lighthouse
with the fateful ease of a dream;
Will was not there; Mira felt the cold air
of outrunning a dream and turned back,
leaving the past behind

Will was standing by the door
of the Lightkeeper’s cottage;
and they laughed at life’s design
overriding their miscue
and overwriting their narrative

They walked by gardens of fruit, fish,
fowl, flowers, and people ripening,
drying in the sun; a lingering effervescence
mingled with the scent of the open sea
challenging and beckoning

At dawn, Will left her side
and walked to the window,
and Mira saw his shadow passing
as he always saw hers, a vision
moving into the future

Will said as she joined him:
If you see the river, you will also see
the marina and the bridge,
white boats and jade-green water,
born from the morning sea fog.

On the beach, seed-topped grass
grew on dunes, and parallel lines
of seaweed followed the curving coast

With all things sailing they navigated
by the stars, flowing into ports of call,
sailing away with renewed purpose,
sailing with grief and ecstasy
into the fold and mantle of the sea

Sandy and Laurel moved to the island
and renovated the beach house;
Sandy learned from a retired sea captain
to pilot a charter boat, for sport fishing
and tourists seeking the Gulf’s bounty

One day they joined the old captain
on his boat; going out to sea
until there was only water and sky,
and with friends and family gathered on deck
Laurel and Sandy were married

At the beach house, Sandy held Laurel,
watching a storm brew proud and wild,
and in her body an ingrained strength
matched his own; where tides crossed
waves collided, water devils spun to shore

There were broad shimmering ecstasies,
fibers twisting to the sun’s scorching eye;
and the center of gravity became many
centers of gravity; the storm revolved,
and the core transformed

They were spinning in the eye of the storm
as clouds wove a veil, cool light sank
into their eyes, lilies and breaking waves,
and they were one with the line and flow
of the world

In time, through time, beyond time
they had become matter, dark matter,
liquid, vapor, fire and pure energy,
connected by whatever it is that arranges things
to the other raptured beings around them

In time they had a daughter:
Dia, said Laurel, a new day,
as Sandy cradled the child in his arms

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