To My Ex-Lover
It’s June on Cape May, and the ocean bridles
with a squall that has not relented for three days,
and I wonder how long the sky will mourn
before accepting forgiveness for the charred bank of driftwood,
the maple you and I used to climb—
was it only two years ago you carried me home
after I slipped and sprained my ankle?
I never understood your fierce longing for the rain,
the way it blurred our vision and made slippery
the roofs and walks where you begged me to dance,
and I wonder if that’s why we could never last—
every deluge was like your own home-coming,
when I’d already built my storm shelter in your chest;
but now, the rain-laden sand clings between my toes
like the guilt of missing you
lodged between my ribs, and I can barely hear
the rattle of the old freighter we worshiped for years
before we found the shrine of its tracks, buried in peat moss
and rotting leaves, beyond the reach
of the salt spray you once drank like breath.
We held hands your last day on Earth, do you remember?
Feet pounding through the surf like we would have run
to the universe’s edge, to our forest train tracks,
to which I never should have prayed,
the place where you laid your final elegy,
and I swear on that night the thunderclouds
on the horizon could have swallowed you whole.
It’s June on Cape May,
and hurricane season has barely begun,
but tonight I take shelter under our lightning-charred maple
as the sky gifts me our first summer storm,
and for the first time in three days, the scent of forgiveness
begins to permeate the stale salt of my lungs,
and somewhere in the clouds over our roiling ocean,
I swear I can hear you dancing.
By Chelsea Fujimoto
Chelsea Fujimoto is a Massachusetts-based fiction writer and veterinary student with a penchant for poetic prose and slam poetry. She graduated in 2015 with a B.A. in Biology from Skidmore College, and will be attending veterinary school in London. Her writing is inspired by the works of Neil Gaiman, Mary Oliver, Jacqueline Carey, and the Beat poets. She maintains a personal blog, Nubes de la Mente (Clouds of Thought): <https://nubesdelamente.wordpress.com/> She can be contacted via email at <firstname.lastname@example.org>