Long flat rivers, I see myself float.
The eyes were closed and they would not open.
The distant sun was there.
Your mouth rushes past me,
the years, the hours, that I would never find you.
The buildings along the water I jogged along,
where I was speaking but wanting no answer.
Not the quiet. Not the rocking ocean. Not
the trees. Movement was my stillness.
Not your eyes that refused to look ahead.
You with your watch always to your ear.
Tick Tock. Tick Tock. Nothing.
I float through the hallways and bare lawns,
through Cambridge and the West End,
down to the harbor where I wash my hands of shadows
and give them back. Back in the country,
in the shade of a tree, I sat on my father’s shoulders
and felt like the sun dragging the moon around like an echo.
I held on fast floating past, rooms so large
I could not hear what I was thinking was going to change me.
I floated on into what I believed you thought of me.
I feel myself drifting beginning to be
where I always seem to find myself
when I lay myself on a table like mittens or keys
wanting to see if you’ll pick me up,
if you’ll notice me. You have this body,
this way of telling me, “I cannot remember,”
but I can. I float to the sound of your heart.
I float among objects: beating wings,
the presence of sorrow, flowers on a table.
I float to come closer and to get further away.
I float to forget time and what you would say
if I didn’t have this inner tube
to put in the water
every time you get that look in your eyes
that stands at the back of the room
that makes me believe you can see me,
yet I stand there absorbing vacancy,
I float, choking, but still moving.
Hoping some day I will be far enough away
that your name will no longer be known.
In the dark, I can almost hear you say it,
please come back.