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Islands of Her Making by Shaan Aslam

islandsHer picture has faded in the September weather. Her eyes, blue as lapis, are dark now. Her darker, russet hair lighter in color. Auburn it seems, or titian. Something not natural to her. She was a dark, dark brunette, not a titian red. Her clothes are dated. A striped Abercrombie polo of blue and green hues that have no rhythm. I look now and I see someone I don’t remember. Someone I hadn’t spent summers with drawing names on the limestones of some foggy shore, where we would throw sand into the sea, watching the mounds slowly lessen as the water drew up and back again.

“You know, if we put enough sand in the water, we could have our own island.” Her voice was warm, each word rounded like hot glass.

“Yeah? That’s how they built Dubai.”

She looked at me, her lapis eyes bright even against the setting sun.

“You’re something strange.”

Her voice sounds muffled now. I wonder if the tides ever finished the mounds we built.

The picture is stained in places, the edges are torn and bent and creased. “Missing” is in bright red and her name in black, but even those are starting to wear.

I’ve had dreams where I see her. She looks at me, her eyes like wet stones, her hands clenched in fistfuls of sand draining slowly to the ground, standing on an island of her own making.

Shaan Aslam is an RTVF Major at SJSU with an emphasis in cinematography.

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