on the corner of a cloud at the end of an island

on the beach that day in paradise
the words came to us like approaching drums that didn’t stop.
for miles and miles and onward into the sky there were thousands of them

uniformed marching in red hats and tassels.
wearing feathers and carrying skin drums, snares, rattles, timpanis, wooden sticks and metal.
dancing in chaotic tandem it snaked upward from a source that became cloudy when i squinted to see a little better.
it was white, though, and clear.
warm and cool, breezy and still, silent and glorious.
looking up and questioning i turned to the side to ask you if you saw that, too
but looking down i saw there was no more beach, and there was no more you.
and there you were.