He was a pile of sand.
I held it in my hands (as carefully as it is possible to hold something
that is not really something
but millions of little things that don't stick together.)
It kept slipping through my fingers.
Eventually my palms were empty.
But there was always persistent and residual grit
and the bottom of backpacks.
How long these little grains can live in dark and forgotten places
and turn up when one hasn't been to the beach in so long!
But, inevitably, after countless loads of laundry,
and the discarding of old shoes,
these tiny, beautiful little pieces of glass
cease to be seen.