If I close my eyes, I hear the crashing of waves and feel the wind of lost youth on my face as we prepare to venture into the night in anticipation of the culinary delights that await us. There’s an Italian restaurant not far from the beach, with a view of the stars and faraway lands as exotic as we are drunk. To get to it, we walk hand in hand upon the shore, chatting shit we won’t remember come morning. The shore in question is one I long to walk once more, and I live my life trying to trace my footsteps back to this time and place where I truly belong. Everything is silent here, yet the music of the ocean and the stars drown me in love. I see ships but no harbours. Old fish and chip shops that crumble into dust and streets teeming with crabs chasing plastic bags adorned with logos belonging to stores that closed years ago. The roads are cracked and bloom with weeds, and salt from the sea has peeled the paint off all the buildings built in celebration of a new future that came and went before it ever had a chance to be. In a hotel, once grand but now riddled with echoes, the ghosts of who we once were fuck on a bed before an open window. We’re drenched in sweat and starving as a blistery wind showers us with beads of rain and grains of sand as old as time itself. The air of desperation is palpable, yet the poetry we speak and breathe is only possible because our backs are against the wall—and we’ve nothing left to lose at all.