August 5, 2017

for Rufus Burr Smith (1912-1976)

a bank covered with flowers
lost before you mentioned it

on an April morning fifty years later
a month before we lost you

and banks of absence
rose and lulled and rolled and crashed

and roiled and all was lost
before the bank covered with flowers

curved above me in the sunlight of a May morning
a cold wave you called me to ride

out of the undertow across the churning surf
onto the hot beach

and I rose bloody-chested
in the blaze of your regard

now lost again as lost before
and before and before when you banked your regard

in ponzi schemes with promised returns
that rose and crashed and left you lost

and bloody-hearted and raging for more
until you lay and could not rise

and remembered the bank of flowers
and basked a moment in my regard