The men in my life have been leaving
this week. That’s nothing new and why
I would not for long years venture
into their territory. But I miss
them. Men are like waves. They lap
at the shore, and recede, leaving.
My father, for instance, left
a love for laughing,
a willful temper, eggplant parmagiana. Fear
and fascination for flying.
Ray left—but that’s too soon.
I’m still stunned by his passing.
Blue eyes like that should never die!
I saw him the other day, hovering
over the ocean like God in Dali’s Last Supper.
He was grinning.
Even that blind date (the quick assessment over tea
that doesn’t leave time for unfolding
starched and pressed into our desired forms
we present ourselves like clean clothes) left
a new perception. There are no second chances.
I could use some instruction—a map
of the territory might help me find
a man who is more like a rock.
I was reading about edge theory
—that at the intersection of two ecosystems
new life grows, emergant forms have their inception.
When a lake shrinks in a drought
(the waters’ receding an imprecise ripple)
the shore wrinkles around it,
like elephant hide. Does anything grow
there? What about awareness? Is that
a fresh form of life? And reflections?
The shore mirrors the elephant and he it.
Can we learn from that?
What forms are possible when life shrinks?
When one person dies, does it matter?
If the ocean diminished by the mass of one man
who would notice? How many people
does a world need? Surely,
we can spare a few. My father,
perhaps. My friend. What is one man
here or there? Then, or now?
I’ll tell you, when you love someone
then they are gone, you lose faith.
You may grow some back, but
it will never look the same. The sea
just got smaller. The earth
crinkled. The mind
can’t get itself around death.
And faith is a cold ocean.
But it keeps lapping at the shore.