Almost an Elegy
I found that Fifties vanity at the back of the garage, the one with mirrored sides and cracked corners, its drawers still crowded
with playing cards, the carapace of a horseshoe crab, tiles from a ruin in Palermo, a handmade paper box and the heart of the catalytic converter from our '82 Saab, a worn-out honeycomb.
I went to Sicily with my grandfather when I was fifteen. As a child at the beach, you thought horseshoe crabs would eat your feet. The box once held exquisite Japanese cookies flavored with seaweed,
a gift from your student Goro, murdered in 1994. Now it rattles with bits of agate and jade, limpet shells and teeth from the corpse of a seal we found on the Oregon Dunes. You conjured a story to valorize the death, an attack by orcas, you said, Look, here are the bite marks, invisible to me. That was the summer the car quit, needing serious repairs for the drive back to New York.
My parents and their friends played poker with the cards. I don't mean to sound as if you’re gone, too; this was almost an elegy but we're still traveling, still filling our pockets with fragments and stones, saved.