Lost Letter

I watched as the white
marble chipped, watched
as the coast eddied
with elegiac seafoam
and two men plunged their hands
into the deep
recesses of a small, seaside
cave. I held the silver letter
opener to my breast like a sword.
I didn’t know what I was
protecting myself from.

My friend, if you find
this letter in Paris
or Parnassus, remember
how the statues of boys bent
toward each other
like Actaeon’s hounds bared
themselves against their master’s
throat—an interminable
thirst for the flesh consuming
their primitive minds.
And remember me, sitting
across from you
at the teahouse feeling much
the same, our lips painted
the same shade of rooibos red.

Copyright © 2024 by Tory Adkisson. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on April 11, 2024, by the Academy of American Poets.