The widower in silk pajamas slides
his hand along a glossy blue sleeve,
thinking, Water to fabric, rivulet
slipped through a needle’s eye.
He’s all ripples when he moves,
all waves breaking against flesh.
He read in the paper the human body is
80 percent water. He is almost
a brook when he wanders
around the yard, practically a river
flowing upstream when climbing stairs,
the distant past of Pacific salmon
leaping over his shoulders. He naps
for hours on a king-size, the mattress
dimpled where two bodies slept
together for decades. Dreaming,
he is the relative of that lake
where he tipped the urn overboard.
What was left of her the water
dissolved, becoming the water
and the lulling blue sounds it made
while he paddled back to land.
Copyright © 2017 David Hernandez. Used with permission of the author. This poem originally appeared in The Southern Review, Summer 2017.