l’adieu

She looked like a great bird, as her shawl and long dress flapped in the wind. The sky was an unpleasant gray and the salt in the air rubbed into the soft flesh of her inner nostrils as she drew in a long breath. The tip of her nose quivered like a rabbit’s, her lips pursed tight as she made her way slowly across the mud flats.
She carried the urn clasped closely to her chest, feeling her heart thump against the cold porcelain. Her feet squished into the mud and left deep prints behind her.
When the sand became too soggy to go out any further, she removed the cover of the urn and reached into the ashes with her bare right hand. The ashes felt soft- soft as the beaches of Goa, where they had spent warm nights on the verandah of their wooden shack.
She was afraid that the swirling wind would sprinkle the ashes back into her face, but they carried them away, far into the ocean, never to return.

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