Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith

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Poem: "Like Love Letters in the Sand"

This came out of the August 3, 2021 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired and sponsored by [personal profile] nsfwords. It also fills the "seashells" square in my 8-1-21 card for the Hot Summer Writes Bingo fest, and the "foster care / adoption" square in my 8-2-21 card for the August Intimacies Bingo fest. This poem belongs to the Eloquent Souls series.


"Like Love Letters in the Sand"


Petra Rodin loved her soulmark.

People were always saying
that she was too stodgy,
like the stone she carved,
but she knew better.

Her soulmark wasn't
like everyone else's.

It came at went at
unpredictable intervals,
rarely said the same thing
twice, and wandered
all over her body.

Usually it appeared
on her arms or her feet,
and it made people talk.

Only one part stayed
the same: it always had
a line of handwriting
formed from a wave.

Petra kept pictures of
all the variations she saw.

It had said Wild, Breathe, and Calm.
Usually it was a single word, but
there had also been phrases
like Into the sea and Let it be.

She loved beachcombing
and she often went walking
there, but nobody seemed
to match her soulmark.

Then one day she saw
a man writing in the sand,
and the same word Love
scrawled across her skin.

A wave swept over the sand,
erasing it, and at the same time,
her Words vanished like usual.

"That was my soulmark
until a minute ago,"
Petra said, stunned.

The man turned around.
"Mine has been the same
forever," he said. "Could
this one be yours, then?"

He pushed up a linen sleeve
to reveal a soulmark that
covered half of his forearm
with FOREVER chiseled
into a gray stone background.

"That was my first commission
out of college," Petra said.
"What are yours about?"

"This and that," he said.
"I grew up in foster care, so
I struggle with permanence,
and I have a lot of junk in
my head. Beach writing
helps me clear my mind."

Petra thought about waves
washing the sand clean.
"I get it," she said. "I'm
a stonecarver. I'm really
all about permanence."

He smiled. "I think I've
been borrowing yours
for years," he said.
"My name is Adriano."

"I'm Petra," she said.
"I've been appreciating
your whimsy. I never know
what my Words will say."

Adriano bent down
to scoop up a cowrie.

"Seashells remind me of
a life full of beautiful surprises,"
he said. "We are like seashells
upon the beach, beautiful and unique,
each with a story of its own to tell."

"I think of stone that way," said Petra.
"It always has a story to tell, and
what's written in stone lasts forever."

Adriano smiled. "Seashells are
like love letters in the sand," he said.
"Shells on the beach remind me
that treasures arrive everyday
in the form of simple things."

Then he leaned down and
wrote something on the beach.

Petra expected it to be Love again,
but what appeared on her foot
was Home, the end gilded
like the sunlit sand itself.

Adriano and Petra were
completely different people,
but they were perfect for each other.

* * *

Notes:

Petra Rodin -- She has fair skin, brown eyes, and shaggy auburn hair. She wears glasses. She wears practical, often grungy clothes. She is asexual. She is French and lives in the French Riviera. She speaks English, French, and Italian. Petra is a stonecarver who makes ornamental and commemorative pieces. Her soulmark is atypical: appearing and disappearing, moving around her body, and changing what it says, but always a line of handwriting with a wave forming the words. She has kept a photo album of all the versions she has seen. Examples include Wild, Breathe, Calm, Love, Into the Sea, Let It Be, and Home.

Petra Rodin's soulmark (variable):
copies Adriano's beach writing
Wild
Breathe
Calm
Love
Into the Sea
Let It Be
Home

Adriano Nicchi's soulmark (chiseled in stone on left forearm):
FOREVER


Adriano Nicchi -- He has tinted skin, brown eyes, and shaggy brown hair. He is tall and slim. He is asexual. He is Italian and lives in the Italian Riviera. He speaks English, French, and Italian. Adriano grew up in foster care and struggles to find permanence in life. He dresses in upscale menswear, often linen beach clothes. Adriano's soulmark appeared when he was 18 and floundering through college. It reads, FOREVER chiseled into a stone background on his left forearm. That gave him hope.

Adriano Nicchi's soulmark (chiseled in stone on left forearm):
FOREVER

Petra Rodin's soulmark (variable):
copies Adriano's beach writing
Petra Rodin's soulmark (variable):
copies Adriano's beach writing
Wild
Breathe
Calm
Love
Into the Sea
Let It Be
Home

* * *

"Seashells remind me of a life full of beautiful surprises. We are like seashells upon the beach. Beautiful and unique each with a story of it's own to tell. Seashells are like love letters in the sand. Shells on the beach reminds me that treasure arrive everyday in the form of simple things."
-- Darshana Bhujbal

French Riviera Map

Italian Riviera Map

Cowries live in many places, including the Mediterranean Sea.
Tags: cyberfunded creativity, fantasy, fishbowl, poem, poetry, reading, romance, weblit, writing
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