String Theory

“Failed Wings” by Anna Martin

Take this drowning sea, where I am breathing
so deeply, blue rivulets—I mean the steam

of your being, up and up—
our memory, a child

into the mouth of the sky-
lights—and I’m as gone and happy with you
as the grey diadem of a clam, if clams could feel

doubt. I’m saying love
becomes the wish of coins bluing in the fountain.

We can aspire to be that small
carrousel of metal that spins on the moment,

and on nights like this it is okay
not to know but to feel, despite your being gone,
the chance happening. As it happens

I know the difference between imagination and memory no more than

than you, but to live sometimes I dream
instead of speaking to your God. Don’t give up, you said,

on me. It was a dolphin becoming
the water, a mustard seed. One definition
of faith is that which cracks granite, restraint. A memory:

remember another ocean where we—another we—or an actually,
are neither of us

dripping, on each other, our lips, our listening, our lifesavers

and jackets and the dance of the glistening city—granite
on the water, Cincinnati under one made-up face

we share in the moment. The light is candlelight, you’re reading

I’m reading
your face
my face.

If not exactly like this, at least in the sense that a fable makes
a living place. I’m saying I have considered, as we’ve all considered,

not being: we sat in hospitals for each other,
facing each of our fathers
trying not to leave: I am thinking of you tonight

and how once you consider death, really consider it, you realize
here we are, and what you’ve been considering is love.

By Keith S. Wilson