A Love Poem (Or: You Left, and Even Though I Knew I’d See You Again in a Couple of Weeks, the Sky Collapsed, and I Started Writing this Poem and Crying.)

i

You left, and I
bobbed over the
street, some drunk, crippled
sailor, and watched
the car drain away
into the night.

I couldn’t see you anymore,
couldn’t tell whether you
waved back through those
glassy, moonless seas, which
now reflected only streetlights,
crazed dogs,
wind.

The blue jaws of the sea
swallow cities, navies, schools
of platinum porpoises, mountains,
stars — all twirl down,
flecks of ash down
swollen storm drains.
Then their bones become
sand, and all songs of them
pulverize, dreams of
singing starfish,
gone.

Who am I,
teetering here
on the sea’s deaf lips,
to object?

You were going. You dissolved
behind dark waters, and then
the car perished in the squalls
of Los Angeles.

I leaned against its blue exhaust, and said, “Well, I meditate, I’m a Buddhist. I know something about loss.”

And the killer whales
wailed with laughter,
and the rain howled down,
and the sempiternal waves
heaved,
and the sea’s jaws
fell open again, and I
fell,
fell blindly.

ii

Inside, there were cigarettes, Bulleit
Bourbon, Bose speakers, and on my
tiny Apple screen, kindly missives from
friends; or else CBS, and
two scrappy old bastards
mutilating each other in a
street fight for the
soul of America.

But I could only careen to and fro,
a gull with a tic,
for I could not un-know you, nor unsee
the sea that took you.

You had come through clouds —
a bright bay and skyline. You came
a mighty psychedelic Pan, offering earth, forests, electricity, blood, songs, feasts, ancient scrolls, laser shows, war hymns
in the dead of night.

“No,” I replied. “I’m good. I’m chasing
Will-O’-the-Wisps across this Nothing sea.”

I had turned my back
on landfall,
thrown the barrelman overboard,
and blundered on into the surf,
a clueless Ahab.

iii

But here in the spray of the violet hour,
a strange crew stole up on my deck,
fanned out in ghostly formation,
and spoke to me, saying,

“The sea swallows all.
Nothing remains.”

The broken wheel and sextant spoke;
Orion and Lyra, long dead and
fallen under the waves,
whispered to me,

“Oh, not a fish, not a bird, not a grain of sand.”

The barnacled skeletons of explorers
still clinging to the keel
whispered,

“Not a locket,
not a husk
of a husk
of a seashell.”

And their eyes were your holy, lethal and unmoving eyes, saying, “Don’t die a fool.”

And so,
I looked long and cold
into the deep,
and tacked my drunken boat around.

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Mindfulness/yoga teacher, actor, writer, singer. Independent critical thinker. Heterodox views. Illuminating dark places.

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Blake Shields Abramovitz

Blake Shields Abramovitz

Mindfulness/yoga teacher, actor, writer, singer. Independent critical thinker. Heterodox views. Illuminating dark places.

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