Richmond, April 2009
I was watching the news. The oceans are dying.
The depths have been plundered or poisoned.
As I wondered about the next time I will have wild salmon
The fate of the bowhead whales, the crabs and the corals,
I remember how my chest lightened when my eyes fell into yours,
The color of an ocean at high noon, its depths undiscovered, alive
Teeming with creaturliness, falling upon the turquoise tears
That the silver necklace held around your neck.
In the shop that sells things that were dead to some,
But now alive to others, memories recreated, recalibrated, restored.
For a moment I was brought out of a foggy hue
Brought from another night of friendly drinking,
Made alive by the life within the sea that was your eyes.
I rested upon your countenance. Although I am like other men
And have the habit of lingering too long
upon the contours of a woman’s body,
I could only attend to the blue around your face and neck.
I couldn’t speak the words that would have made me more visible to you.
You were polite and helpful, but I felt like the young boy
Who can’t yet swim, as you listed the shawl and cuffs I bought.
When I left the place, I considered what it must be like to be an explorer
In the high seas, discovering the treasures and life within you.
So now there is this note, cast upon the grand oceans,
Trusting it will find its destination.