Half-Moon Elegy


                                                  —in memory of FB

What’s left when you halve
every memory of our feet

dipped in the icy Columbia River,
daring the other to hold still

a little longer—cold feet
or a cold tongue? If I halve

the sobs your mother released
into the phone when she explained

how your truck had rolled,
you get the man I’m unbuckling

for in San Juan del Sur—
our rum-glossed lips, half-moon

bite marks on either side of his
forearm: a fullness only possible

with someone I could never
love. Outside, the ocean cradles

fishing boats. Bull sharks keep
the night watch beyond the shallows.

All his weight against me. I keep
thinking of you. Even if I halve

the memory of us & the river,
it’s still winter, & you’re still

going to die. In the dark, I coil
into mattress spring thinking

of the moon: a split lip over the bay
—how, like you, each night

it pushes the sun away.

—winner of the Editors’ Prize in Poetry for issue 27