I Held Her Like a Pencil Drawing

That was my first mistake.
Whoever expected us to become the best movie of the decade
needs to go home and become a better person.
The rain stayed right where it fell.
Even shadows failed better than we. Perhaps
I could have still become her John the Baptist.
She wouldn’t have had to be Salome.
Funny how a hand gesture can make one’s year. One second
she’s a statue in a crypt; the next second she’s a full moon.
Tides of skyscrapers obeyed her. Birds learned her songs.
Dogs bit each other at not having her in their lives.
I could have jumped in the rip tide, but a park ranger
stopped me. I think about her lost photo albums,
what iceberg has now absorbed them in the Arctic Ocean.
Who doesn’t know the feeling? You dive—and there it is,
nibbled by belugas. And then you take up residence
in the neighboring coast guard station and drink.
Who wouldn’t? For six months you stare at a sketch
of an aborted pipeline. Eventually it gets easier.
You go back to your ancestral secondary city.
A skeleton of a boy you knew rules the landscape.

–Anton Yakovlev