A jagged, wind-swept stone
gathered, placed to rest
on the wooden deck, not
consolation, not release
from the thought of suffering,
only a brief change of place.
As if the pain felt was a wave
meant to be crested—yet this thought
works neither to deal with
or receive secondary closure.
You once whispered cenotaph
to me. Out walking the wet grass
sticking to our bare feet. The ocean,
unlike any water we had ever seen,
we who have seen so little. You said
it was growing dark yet it wasn’t.
You said what has passed never
really passes. This thought—fulcrum-
like—liar’s poker we both believe.
An embrace without touching.
Not of mind or feeling, but stillness,
as water hits a rock, then silence.
By Charles Kell
Charles Kell is a PhD student at The University of Rhode Island and editor of The Ocean State Review. His poetry and fiction have appeared or are forthcoming in The New Orleans Review, The Saint Ann’s Review, floor_plan_journal, The Manhattanville Review, and elsewhere. He teaches in Rhode Island and Connecticut.