(For MG. A.)
We are not much more than water sheathed in skin,
everything passing through us like ships in a thin canal.
Cargoed with expectation, memory and loss,
we levy ourselves with tolls at each juncture.
Visions of us floating on the surface,
heartbeats once faster, now out of sync,
and the unfinished renovations of our home on the shore,
these are the tolls’ foundations.
So when a swan settles onto the waveless bay, I take notice.
Studying its small black mask followed by large white feathers
rushing in the opposite direction of its glide
even toll collectors raise their barriers.
Swans float freely.
Their benevolence is evident and plain.
When it finally lifts off the surface of the bay,
water drips from its wings
leaving tracks in the sky that few see and follow.
Its departure, like yours, is mourned a bit.
Then everything returns to the way it has to be.