The Draft


The Draft

All memories ignite, he says, recalling
the odor of accelerants and charred

friends. Yesterday I walked to the sea
and looking into its deep crush

sensed something unseen washing
out, between tides and a shell-cut foot,

sand and the gull’s drift, or the early names
I assign to faces. This is not sadness.

Somewhere the called numbers meet.


“The Draft” first appeared in Taos Journal of International Poetry & Art.


19 thoughts on “The Draft

  1. I like (intellectually) and dislike (fear) the Buddhist idea of emptiness, that we arise from emptiness (a void of potential being) and return to it. Your image of the ocean washing out coupled with “the early names I assigned to faces” reminded me of that teaching. But your reassurance at the end gave me comfort.

    Liked by 1 person

      • You do yourself an injustice by calling it minimalist. It’s just compact, even truncated … “sensed something unseen washing / out” has nothing minimal about it. There’s no room for anything in this poem but good lines. The pairing of “early” names you’ve “assigned” to faces with the doom of numbers being called, all these things say what they need to say without you saying anything for them. The recurring tide of the living and the dead, the floating away, the pain of detail, it’s all there with nothing missing.

        Liked by 1 person

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