Apologies to What I have Lost and Will Lose

By | 5 December 2019

There was the Mediterranean: You
could walk into the water and stay there.

— from June Jordan’s Apologies to All the People in Lebanon

I wished for the sea to take me
but all it offered to take
was the unweighted substance
pulsing the heart, synapsing
the brain. I stepped in
and it kept pushing me back
onto sand it forced into
its own image. I wished to look
for ruins. I wished to find
a paradise because the heavens
failed me. I wished to find a dome
of city starved of these wars. Maybe
I could, if only I could, swim
into the stormed sea to find
the source of a dozen severed feet
washed up on the shore
with shoes still on: each person
in the new-found city
adapted with slight gills, fresh
fins, telling me: something must
always be sacrificed, but
in this new place we grew back
something better.

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