Rogue Waves


Is the yellow of the forest
the same as last year’s?

And does the black flight
of the relentless seabird repeat itself?

And is where space ends
called death or infinity?

What weighs more heavily on the belt,
sadnesses or memories
~ The Book of Questions XLV, Pablo Neruda

I remember when I managed water
as a lifeguard and body surfer,

when I sank in the deep end
to play a drowning victim.

Like a sea bird, I held my breath
for minutes and attacked my rescuer.

I remember the lake called Half
Moon Pond I swam across

on a funny dare in New Hampshire,
and the soughing stand of Quaking

Aspen beside Lake Dillon
in Colorado — the relentless

falling leaves.
I remember yellow or its alloy

gold glinting in the sea,
floating chrysanthemums

and a body rising —
our arms twining a stretcher.