Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016

You get good at letting go


You help him sort through

a house of relics;

maneuvering amongst the

squat towers of flagship papers

from port cities

whose names he used to know.



He cannot read them,

but he cannot throw them out.


You get good at letting go,



They surface sometimes -

portraits of the girls you loved

and the records of

the secrets you swore always to keep

that now you can't remember -

the only survivors of a flooded basement.


Faces warped and ink drenched

floating to the surface,


you can't make them out anymore.


There are letters too,

innumerable envelopes

to sift into order,

the senders mostly dead,

the recipients halfway there.





You think about throwing yourself over

and letting the ocean

freeze you through

and spit you out

shaking, and waking, in a land that suits you better,



You sort the papers first

by Atlantic and Pacific -

the oceans he once left by -

and the letters by

stamps -

the way they left them by.


It is the smells that go first.

Then the touch - the names -

still you think you might hear

a voice

but at the end, the face.





You get good at letting go

and then you get better.