Wings and Sand

Sean Patrick Whiteley

Together, her feet brushed on and through the sand. We walked along the beach, didn’t hold each other’s hands, we weren’t there yet, still getting to know one another. She wondered, where does the water go?

“Over. Out. Past Nahant,” I said.

“Have you been there?”

“Over? No. Out. Yes, I’ve been out.”

“And, Nahant? Have you been?”

“Mm’yes. I’ve been there, also.”

“I’d like to go there.”


“Not now. But, next time, maybe.”

“We can do that.”

“I’d like to be over the bay.”

“With some wings, you could be.”

She stopped walking and dropped to a knee in the sand, holding out her palm.

“This will only take a moment,” she said.

She undid her blouse, tossed it to the side. From behind her, wings, transparent, insectile, bloomed. They grew and extended from her back. She stood, a vision, as if born of dragonflies.

“I’m sorry,” she said. “I should have told you—“

“—about the wings. Perhaps.”

“Yes. I feel like I can’t breathe when they’re tucked away.”

“And . . . now?”

“You seem to know . . . and understand.” She kicked from the ground. Her wings, silent in their flight, took her away. Into the sky, over the water. Out, and past Nahant Sound, this girl, clothed only in black pants, black bra.

I watched her become smaller, farther. She waved back to me, I think, I believe, I hope I will see her, again. Dreading and yearning. My eyes lost her in the sky. Or the sky swallowed her. I continued on, walking along the beach alone. My feet sifted through the sand, and I wished to have wings, as well.

Sean Patrick Whiteley is 28 years-old and resides outside of Boston, Massachusetts.