he clutches his jasmine tea, says:
how will you avoid becoming a river when you grieve?
he pours cheese curds over muslin in raspberry dusk:
I am forgetting the faces of others,
forgetting the sky, the water—
a hum of wind scatters his voice like ashes.
abandon my urn of matchboxes and beacons,
leave the floating city
where mirrors become gardens,
the fog of sandalwood and pipe tobacco,
the trees darkening into water—
you forget the way rivers forget.
I look into a mirror, as if a body—a light
switched off in a distant house—
as if the ghost would now return.