He surveys the wide expanse
of white, tropical sand that glowers
into his face,
& the solitary red rose
he throws into the trough of the waves:
nothing so theatrical about it
but a cavalier mode to signal
the day’s usual loss:
There was no one to remember, anyway,
but the remembering itself
that cuts like a knife
& the long scar tells him how silly
it is to take offense against the sea
which grieves not,
& returns his voice borne on the raft of wind,
like a crush of cymbals…
He picks up the pieces of the blue water
that break against the shore:
He cannot decipher the puzzle of it-
he can only feel the sting of the blast
& the plot of sand opening under his feet.
Yes, everything in a day’s stroll
like a cop on his dutiful patrol.
These things happen on the beat everyday.
No reason to panic, nor quit the harbor.
If there’s no history between them,
what’s there to grieve?
If there’s no memory between them,
what’s there to remember?
Don’t ever look back, old fools say,
lest the heart turn into a fistful of salt.
But nights, he keeps tossing in his bed,
the zero-sum slamming
like a hangman’s noose into his face.