A Poem A Day, Day Twenty-nine

My Painting of You

Long ago,
when we thought we were grown up,
I skipped and stumbled to keep pace with your long strides,
the boards of the boardwalk passing beneath our feet.
We spent nights drinking beer and smoking cigarettes
conspiring the destruction of everything,
like best existentialist friends.

The last time I saw you
I was clinging to the east coast.
We sat in your living room and talked all night
while manic moths danced and banged against the window.
I can’t squeeze from my memory what we talked about.
I think I told you the truth,
but only after you had fallen asleep.

When your wife called, her voice sounded as if it was coming
from the depths of the sea,
she called me to tell me,
because someone had to tell me,
you had drowned…

Salt water will resist pigment.
Where droplets fell on the paper
there are spaces that I can’t fill in.
My children, forever young, are peeking out from behind the trees,
and you are sitting on a rock.
I have encased you in light and darkness.
Your face is turned slightly away,
as you look out at the sea.

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