I was told (who told me? what voice?) to imagine
a porthole, to focus across the blue. Wait
for the glare of clarity to abate, subdue it.
Acknowledge the blue, it said, like breathing
used to be. It will be cold, like the first snow,
as you ease yourself across. There is the sea.
Concentrate. I become my focus, which is her.
She watches the sky (I remember the sky). I don’t
see her, it is not sight, yet she’s there on the terrace
watching the clouds, seeing vertebrae.
The voice says, It’s like blowing. I remember
breathing, taking in a deep breath. The thought,
or what sounds like a thought, makes me smile.
(A smile is just a metaphor now.) Focus.
I’m entranced with the mirror image. I need the sea
for practice. She’s searching for letters – an L – but clouds
are untamable, they stand on end, wisps
trailing away into a spider’s thread that I follow (again,
a metaphor) in wonder (now I know wonder)
and she is no longer on the terrace, no longer
looking, though her ache crimsons the scent
of pine and honeysuckle. I translate touch, sound,
sight, want, pain. She is trying to translate, but knows
only blue, sea. Sees only vertebrae, thinks I don’t hear.
I resist dissipation. I dally, imagining our two mists
mingling (what sex used to be?), though I’m becoming
wisp already. Her every thought like a blood-red
light flashing in the empty blue. Listen.
Kymm Coveney was born in Boston and has lived in Spain since the 1982 World Cup. Some poems are in Under the Radar, Prole, and The Interpreter’s House. Several flash pieces reside at 101Fiction. Online translations include a poem at Surreal Poetics and a short story at Palabras Errantes.