Tibeau Cemetery: Falling into the Sea

The taxi driver repeated it back. “You want to go to the Tibeau Cemetery?” He seemed confused and probably suspicious.

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The previous day, I asked the innkeeper about the cemetery.

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Someone who grew up in these islands told us about it and I was very curious.

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Climate change. The innkeeper said, “You must have noticed since your last trip here, we are losing land.”

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The cook overheard me ask, “Are people going to be upset if we’re down there taking a bunch of pictures?”

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“We’ve had some trouble, you know.” She said, “They are stealing identities of the dead.”

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“Oh, really?” I said, “I think that’s how Trump won the election.” She doubled over laughing.

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Some of the dates on the graves were old.

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But some of the ones in the water were as recent as the 1980s.

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I saw a bone.

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It could have been from an animal.

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I thought I should take a picture of the bone because no one would believe me.

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But it felt disrespectful, so I didn’t do it.

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Photos by: Daniel Overberger and Nancy Winebarger

Dust

A cat stretches in yellow dust rays of the sun, paws twitching in dreams of mouse cities of gold.

A refrigerator winds electric cool. A reminder of silence that may have been forgotten if ever experienced.

A light, floral smell sits on the wings of a cool wind, swinging with no calculations to the rhythm of ancient drum rituals.

I do not remember the lives before. Only fragments of fuzzy emotions shivering in unclear dream states on planes of the present. Someone is in the room with me.

My father told me he did not believe in ghosts as we turned the attic into my teenage dorm room.

I stayed awake nine years under the footsteps of shadows that only spoke in whispers of telepathic imagery.

A silent hand touches my leg and I scream inside, clenched muscles against bones. Jump and run to the light switch that solves nothing. I sleep with open eyes between the blinks of strobe light sneezing. Finally, I dream. The same dream. Again.

A giant ball of string, three times as tall as me, must be collected and weighed. I can’t move it. The future of our species rests on the completion of this task.

I turn to the people watching and explain that we must work together. I need their help. It’s like talking to a black and white movie projected on a mausoleum wall.

The ball of string is too heavy. I cry out. I feel the warming of the sun’s breeze across my body and I stretch in yellow rays of dust.

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