She sets out for the coast, stops
at the notch to admire the mountains,
makes note that these are truly
mountains, not the soft green
rounded foothills she calls home.
Left behind, he comes home from work
to an empty house and thinks about her
traveling through the mountains
toward the sea she loves, driving along
with all the windows fully open,
waiting for that first whiff of salt air.
Two or three times before the sun
goes down, he steps out onto the deck
to count and recount the giant hay bales
in the field below the house.
Miles and miles and hours away,
under a just-past-full moon, the road
ceases to unfold before her. She sits,
gazing out at water, satisfied, having
melted her mountains in the sea.
Around midnight, before bed,
he goes out to stand on the deck and
count the bales one last time,
the way a shepherd counts his sheep.
He stares out at the horizon,
thinking about how ridgelines
remind him of waves.