I could not bring you roses because
the wind stole their scent. I could not
bring you seashells, there were mollusks
and hermits still in them.
I could not bring you a bouquet of stars;
though I leapt from my roof, they were
still too far. I could not show you the sand
palace I built, the tide came eagerly in.
I could not bring you a gecko, to eat
the mosquitoes that attack your skin.
The gecko was trapped beneath my blanket
and my knee accidentally crushed him.
I was so sad, I built a little ship out
of drift-wood, gave him a funeral on
last night’s ocean. I had no sail,
my love, so I had to use this poem.
The wind carried it away,
along with the scent of your roses,
across the sleeping mollusks in your
seashells, past your demolished sand
palace, where the ghost of the gecko
dances, between walls the sea
And now, I have only this story,
which I’m certain you’ll never believe,
how I ended up here, love, with nothing
but a few grains of sand on my feet.
Wolff Bowden, From “Heavyweight Champion of The Night”