Red Rock

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I can remember the scent of seaweed,

of sand and slick rock

walking the curve of the wall

as the ocean nears high tide

and lashes white foam at your feet.

Eyes are trained on every wet step

bearing witness to tide pools

that disappear into the oncoming waves

like adolescence into the outlying graves of time.

At this edge, this place covered over

by mollusc and graffiti,

the sea wall to Red Rock

holds one image that I have never forgotten.

It endures seasons,

beginnings and endings,

the birth of nephews and nieces,

to bookend multiple weddings

and the death of a friend.

There were four of us that night,

singing and banging on a makeshift drum.

It always claimed a tiny corner in the long ago

but not so any longer as I round the corner

ever so cautiously…

stepping onto Red Rock;

silent, meditative,

with only a solitary gull

perched on the salt stained hull of frozen waves.

I think of Matt Robinson and try to write something

but it is too cold to grip a pen for long.

So, I just think of him here,

when he was alive,

where he once sat and sang “Whiskey Bar”

into the night and to the far off beacon light

beyond the Point,  where all souls go.

As the waves came in surging

we answered with our own voices emerging

from out of the din of useless instruction.

We were still in high school,

the four of us;

myself, Jeff, DiLiberti and Matt.

Myriad lives and paths ahead,

maybe surreptitiously sipping the red

smuggled wine that helped fill our lungs,

warm us against the cold
and help us forget time

as we sang over the waves

at the curve of our world.

It never warned us of the future,

that perhaps we’d never again have this moment together.

It wasn’t Lynn, Swampscott nor Boston

but somewhere in between

the doors of white coastline mansions

and derelict shacks by the tracks,

the edges of twilight

and distant skyscrapers all stacked

in watchful waiting,

baiting each of us to scatter from our roots

out west in the coming years of pursuit

of dreams and something beyond these well worn walls.

I think of Matt Robinson now,

like I was not able to out there.

His passing, once an idea,

now becomes tangible in this physical space.

He was a kid from the neighborhood,

St. Pius, Lynn English,the same age,

his life once parallel now deceased.

I try not to think of him riddled with the disease

that has already claimed too many

but rather think of him singing that night with me

as Red Rock levitated into memory and lore.

Matt, I remember walking with you once before

on those back roads behind Essex Farms,

near my house and yours.

You mentioned you wanted to travel

and that the next time I go to keep you in mind.

We both did some traveling

but never got to take that trip together.

I forgot about that talk

and we ended up an ocean apart.

San Diego, Honolulu,

where now do you journey to?

I look for you here at Red Rock,

hear your voice in the wind singing

“Show me the way to the next whiskey bar”

and though there were those who were a lot closer

and probably kept in touch,

“I tell you we must die”

I’d like to leave an offering for you here at Red Rock

but all I can conjure up is a snowball in a gloved fist.

To shout out your name and hurl it as far as I can

into the sea and mist.

Out where you’ll melt back into the greater whole

and from the abyss

become a wave

to roll back over Red Rock for all eternity,

over me, Jeff and DiLiberti,

until we each in our own way

join you out there in the waves.

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7 thoughts on “Red Rock

  1. Lashes white foam at your feet
    ~
    Beautiful imagery.

  2. nicktakis2012 says:

    dom. matt would be so touched to see how kindly and lovingly you speak of him and the other friends,you remember that moment like it was recent, it was a sad yet touching piece. dad

  3. Susan says:

    A wonderful tribute to your friend, why do we all have that person who is suddenly taken away, like Peggy to me.. Maybe we didn’t keep in Touch all the time, but there were those moments , we touched each others souls and there Was that bond.. Thanks, Dom

  4. domtakis says:

    Strange and powerful how a physical place can cause you to re-live a moment from long ago. It gives form to that which has passed.

  5. drenchedpen says:

    I can picture that night in my mind like it was an hour ago … time fades into oblivion and we journey on our paths clinging to glimpses of eternity … i remember that random couple showing up and the weird vibe that was formed cuz the dudes chick was overly flirtatious … and bongos and keys

    • domtakis says:

      I had forgotten about them, bongos and wine have a way of drawing strange people to it! Definitely an eternal moment perhaps made mythical in the realm of memory that is now tinged with loss. I like drenchedpen by the way bro, hope it means you’ll be using this medium again. Good to hear from you!

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