By: Dana Aparicio
I have loved you for the last time,
an intoxication of softened memories.
It inks red but it is tinted blue,
it is a promise to the waves,
and the breathless daze of drowning
and gasping for air.
It is aging, your olive skin, its vibrance.
Lost among all the grim gray
you tried your hardest to escape.
They're darkening, your eyes.
I press my thumbs, softly, on the root of your nose
and slowly drift down to the edge of your jaw,
leaving a lingering warmth on the bitter spots.
Your chest rises and falls just as the ocean does before dusk,
slow then fast then all at once.
You are lost in the wayside,
in between the sea rocks,
at the edge of the ocean,
where the sand meets the waves.
I rest my heart on the edges, too sharp,
and draw your face in the sand, too soft.
It has been a long, long time
since I have memorized the flow of your veins,
the waves have subsided and the canals do not flow.
I have loved you for the last time.
Before dawn, I found you tied amidst the sea grass,
swaying along with your hair as it blew with the air,
your hand inching towards the ocean that longed for you
enough to not swallow you in.
The ocean wept at my door and flooded my lungs.
Gasping, it promised to bury your heart under the corals,
so it could hear it under the moon.
So I could hear it from my windowsill,
curtains in my fist,
weeping at the mist.
The ocean has lost you for the last time
and I will look for you for a lifetime.
I awoke to seagrass in my garden,
growing on our pale walls,
through the cracks of our floorboards.
A seagrass anklet appeared at the edge of our bed
the same day the tide started up again,
you are free.
Your essence is the rhythm of the ocean,
crashing and cowering at my feet.
I have yet to love you for the last time.
Writer's Statement: These poems are about coping with loss.