We raged brilliant that October afternoon.

Colored cords and silver round our wrists,

aromas of sweet corn, cumin. The salted air.

A row of blackbirds balanced tentatively

on high tension wires. The boardwalk,

nearly empty. Subdued tides reclaimed shells

and beaten strands of seaweed as if determined

to obscure what lay broken.

We rarely understood what the other was thinking,

although we recognized what was easy, the tempos of the waters,

the old family stories, how closely our faces

resembled one another.

Who at the table could predict

your death come spring?

You, a flicker, like a bright speck

from a disappearing sun. A faded

hue atop wrinkled waters.

When that day drifts back, I wonder,

would you remember

how the sky opened?

The way the ocean’s pulse

slowed? How the rain

wouldn’t quit?


J. A. Lagana

J. A. Lagana is a writer, poet, and editor from Pennsylvania. Her poetry has previously appeared in Atlanta Review, Naugatuck River Review, the Paterson Literary Review, and elsewhere.

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