Ithaca, also, was built on the water

river rocks

I am dreaming again of riverafternoons
and your sunlit irides, floodlevel love
on time we borrowed until we stole.
Funny how the past you think of is never
the past that was; the present tenuous as rain
streamlit down the windows of my old place
by the river, all plateglass & whiskey;
my future self’s heart pinched between thumb
and dirt-traced forefinger, whirlpooled in muddy waters,
slipping over rocks. If I knew her now I would say
never mind the scars. There is peace even in the drowning;
the trains will sound their slow mourners’
wail over curves of forever, tonight’s tornado
warning only a siren on the horizon.


strait of messina by night
strait of messina by night

lost in the translation of a rage
only an ocean could understand,
one June morning i passed too close
to your shore and found myself
drowning in a whirlpool
of ambiguous damp sheets.

all my life i’ve been homesick
for a place i’ve never been;
that morning i carried my pride
up into the rocks, dashed it
down over scylla’s cliffs
and walked away

knowing that a piece of me
would always remain here,
buried shallow and bloodless
in a lemon-scented land once held
sacred by many hearts.

i left it willingly,
trading a shattered mirror
for the possibility of coming home.