by Maxine Chernoff

“Daylight disbanded the phantom crew.” —Edith Wharton

The sentimental is a rumor,

inexorable memory

of cottonwood seed

left in its husk, of

a grief spent down to dust.

No question arched

towards lucidity, its quivers

oil and water-worked.

How we land is

called the drowning.

We launch paper boats

into reluctant space,

speak of containment

as if it were a plan.

Your last avowal

has left the station.

There you stand,

without a witness,

consigned to speak as

words lift off the page.