Issue 150, Spring 1999
I see it like a movie screen:
salty green horizon, cloudy blue water.
You step, a pillar on the deck,
the man who wed Faustus and Helen
in verse; who, in disturbed silence,
recalled his grandmother's dead music.
Swimming: did you taste the salt water?
I find you now, sixty-three years after
you heard about their trial separation.
Your gentle step, a lover's breath,
you curse those vows of constant mist,
and tear-wet kisses below the deck.
We are friends though you are long dead,
two men, young, with lemming blood, hot
and red, roommates by those empty urns,
before noon, with wet, literary tongues.
I see your mother when she heard the news:
New York, white buildings, her outside view.
Moonlight Sonata, soft, perhaps shadowed.
Because you saw morning with broken eyes,
blackened, your cheeks and Peggy: sedated
in her bunk, truant from the morning tea.
She missed your lurch, upwards, the railing,
across the deck your view of sky, seeing
nothing, bruised knuckles on rusted alloy,