Though it is my Affliction

Esther Lin

Not the high-throated aspens,
that needs more.
When we speak it is in the
farthest interior of Half Moon Bay
where water runs swift as violet.
I’m onto this so I fix my gaze
on the local boy tugging his fleeces
and wools, eyes dark bivalves
but he can’t spare a thought
for another other and in the same
manner I am twice removed.
The lapping wave dresses itself,
undresses itself. Careful of my habits
I pretend something must be done.
Go out and return unhurt. And go out.
To be like lightning. As if this
is the last writing in this clear valley,
the other remonstrance. Careful
of whimbrels and repetition
I hurl twigs, step into the sea
and back, practicing memory.
The wave sucks loam and releases.
In the same manner I am twice
removed. Gone are the notions
of what is best, words that had come
like apples, ripening all at once.