Trip to the Dying Sea

White-hot sun and thick dry heat

driving

mirages ahead of me

appearing and disappearing

endless train slowly moving on my left

Salt, fish, birds, and surreal seashore on my right

stopping

Dead silence punctuated by the buzzing of a few large flys

disturbing my thoughts

walking

just a hint of sulfur in the air

barnacles, fish bones, and rocks crunching beneath my feet

Surrounded by silence

waves lapping

Pure white beach drawing me in

A lone pale pelican swimming

Sharp shadows telling stories

listening

Down the road, there is a decaying town..

feeling

nervous

afraid

creepy

driving

I have to see for myself

apprehension increasing

cars pass me

I turn into the rutted road marked by a vintage fifties sign – Bombay Beach

The few ramshackle buildings shimmer in the heat

quiet

sun faded

poverty

No people I can see

but I feel them

hiding from the heat

232 feet below sea level

poisoned water, sand, and battered trailers

escape

hide

disappear

This place calls and repels

dry quicksand

I wanted to know

what it was like

I was unprepared

for the reality

I think about it a lot

Afterword

On the train heading home

thinking

I look out the window, on the platform 

are two young men

one is the lookout

the other is shooting up

watching

the syringe plunges – release

another kind of escape

The train continues

I sit with my thoughts and

wonder

about what I have seen

on

this

trip

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