The worst part of it is that I’ve forgotten your face. Or the idea that each tide was a slender finger pulling at these knots, loose end then left to work on another day. Lost at sea, love is a logogram: less than, fewer still, a word made nothing more than cauter-mark on starboard hard, port I left all those years ago. Sometimes, I dream of my own (sorry, our own) great-rooted bed, shaped from something still alive. Eurycleia means “broad fame” and that’s a sandy-pit, if you ask me. It’s an island beautiful as a scarred oxen’s back, sowed with lash and eyes. I saw something of you the other day in this glass of magic, vase filled with smoke’s children. There’s that dress you wore, I said to no one in particular. There’s that blue that never bled to red wine, dark in its never-nocked-arrow waves. And suddenly you’re the moon, again, lost in reflection’s sea. I follow the light to nowhere as I wander through the sipped sleeve. Because. Because you walked the stairs that night before I left, after we heard the rain spill like grain from a split sack. You walked in front of me, just above the cochineal stars, bright bald ember, fashioned still spear. I think of nothing else but you. It’s true. It’s the worst part of forgetting, all this remembering.

Copyright © 2023 by Matthew Minicucci. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on November 28, 2023, by the Academy of American Poets.