–       For B.

I missed you today, even as I found you—
fragments left hiding along shores like the shells
of Orlando.  I walked where you were, but not when
you were, or near where you were—I’m not
sure—can’t be sure.  I’m not even sure
how long you once were—there—in the sands
of your birth, before Kentucky, before Texas,
before I could read words or hear the soft chime
of your voice—light and life
swimming deeper, breathy tones
in the whisper of fragile
husks of ocean life.

                                    And then you were gone,
just as Florida is gone, yet living
out of sight, in my past, like the pulse
of purloined things, brighter things,
constant things, drifting things
like thunder and rain
in the nights of fleeing,
fleeting glimpses
of gold against
gray, against

star-strewn skies.

I missed you today, but I still find you
intoxicating, even in your absence, even
in the possibility that powder-pale soles
pressed the sand I once pressed
moments ago, decades ago,
in the beginning
of a world

where deep called to deep
but was separated

for the blasphemy of knowing
the brief nature of distance.