I have forgotten or never knew
the pulse of a love that stretches across oceans.
or never knew
So long ago now,
though visions of that churning shore still leave tender bedrock exposed
beneath the pulsing folds of cardiovascular muscle --
as if in his wake the Earth spoke in tremors
instead of in turns taken through the void...
It isn't fear that stays the shaking hand,
not time that keeps the frenzied beating in check, no,
just the jagged gravel of memory left in ashy knees all those years ago
when we swore to bury what pain we knew,
what suffering we forewent
to undergo a change of heart.
I used to dig at the pieces when things got too quiet,
would try to expedite their natural expulsion from those raised, white, bulbous scars...
I waited years for the ache to subside, but even now
the rattling of
newly liberated rock fragments
against the walls
of the dryer
the laundry room.
So I have not forgotten the wide expanse of the Atlantic,
the bitter chill of the barren river,
your perforated name,
our punctuated relationship,
the acrid smell of years and years of bleach...
But why waste a chance
for a different kind of stain?