You can get there from here, though there’s no going home. Everywhere you go will be somewhere you’ve never been

Try this: head south on Mississippi 49, one- by-one mile markers ticking off another minute of your life. Follow this to its natural conclusion – dead end

at the coast, the pier at Gulfport where riggings of shrimp boats are loose stitches in a sky threatening rain. Cross over the man-made beach, 26 miles of sand

dumped on a mangrove swamp – buried terrain of the past. Bring only what you must carry – tome of memory its random blank pages. On the dock

where you board the boat for Ship Island, someone will take your picture: the photograph – who you were - will be waiting when you return

at the end of day, at the end of vacation, at the end of this life you’re given to walk straight through, to give away. Try to remember, when you’re old

and you’ve forgotten nearly everything, even this: you woke each morning to the sound of cannon fire. When you slept

dreams of hurricanes came, of a man wearing two watches one for the time he’s got one for the time he’s lost.

Wake to find the Gulf has claimed another meter of shoreline. What remains: a burned-out moon above the waterline, a few mangled fish

brought in by the tide, a jellyfish or two, whose pulse still beats, collapsed beside the plastic six-pack rings and discarded nets, aging

pieces of the human garbage washing up on the shore. You feel yourself aging too – everyone does – even the jellyfish, even the fish.