by Peter Davison
From beyond the borders of memory you seemed to
gaze, enfold, clothe me,
lift me: I was held, washed,
fed. On unsprung legs I swayed and
tottered. Your smile urged me into
walking. Your words urged me out
into words. Your scowl stunned and guarded me. You taught,
scolded, attended. And now, you vanish.
What dark seas must I canvass to
undrown you? How far have you drifted,
castaway? I yearn
across pathless waterlands for
a whiff of your remembered fragrance, a waft
of warm arms, the flick and murmur of
your speaking, the fall of your soft song,
the hushed kisses of your mouth.
Who could have thought you would ever so
immoderately disappear? Or imagine
that, no matter how hard I haul
on the ligaments of our fateful
connection, you could never possibly
Peter Davison is the poetry editor of The Atlantic. His poems in this issue will appear in his newest collection of poetry, to be published by Knopf in September.
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