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by Erika Ayón
When we took the trip to Big Sur,
we drove along the coast.
It was my first real vacation. My wish
had always been to see more ocean.
We stayed at the Lucia Lodge,
our cabin sat at the edge of a cliff.
If you looked down, it was like we
were standing over a deep pool.
We kept the windows open at night
so I could hear the waves crashing.
We spent our first morning hiking up
to the monastery on the mountain.
We reached the top in time for mass.
The monks read scriptures, chanted,
and gathered us in a circle.
They went around and hugged us
so tightly like we were old friends
back from a long journey away.
We brought a painting at the gift shop.
A painting that looks as if the land
is being swallowed by water,
yellow poppies grow on indigo grass.
It now hangs in the back room at home
and every time I look at it, I return
to that week; to the endless sea,
the gray skies, the Pacific wind
on my face, to the monks' embrace,
to when you asked me to marry you,
and I wonder what did you dream
of that night after you proposed.
I dreamt of a lavender wedding,
a baby boy named Gabriel,
and your blue eyes seeking
a new beginning with me,
somewhere beyond the ocean,
somewhere beyond the cliff.