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Ghazal to the Sea

Suren Oganessian
Staff Writer

The cycle of life on Earth revolves around the sea.
Each breath we take, each bite we eat, is all thanks to the sea.

It’s easy to forget this when one lives on the land.
I only started thinking about it when I moved close to the sea.

I walk to the beach again, past the decaying ruins of
an army fort of yesteryear, to be close to the sea.

Beyond a busy highway the people labeled ‘one’, past the edge
of human civilization and in view of the edge of the Earth lies the sea.

The walk is long, through a dark tunnel, down a windy path up
sand dunes once peppered with bullets, and down a cliff to the sea.

The dunes are carpeted with rubbery ice plant, a foreign invader
but then again I am no more native than they are to this area, to this sea.

My mountain Ararat lies half a world away. How I ended up here is a long story,
although I long for the mountain I cannot lie, I’ve grown fond of the sea.

Like the ice plant and the eucalyptus, sometimes I feel like I’m on the wrong continent.
An invasive species that has made its home along the shores of the sea.

Each breath I take quenches a thirst, the wind through my hair never ceases to soothe.
Some despise the weather it brings, but for the fog and for the clouds I thank the sea.

I taste salt in the air. The waves crash, bringing green kelp from the bay.
All of my troubles are cleansed, and they crumble like a sand castle swallowed by the sea.

Violated by humans, filled with waste and poison, I worry for its health.
What artifacts will future archeologists find at the bottom of the sea?

My name, Suren, is Parthian for strength, its origins an old empire of the Middle East
whose memory lies submerged in history, like the canyon beneath this deep blue sea.