Rogue Wave

A rogue wave of old grief capsized me at the bar.

The night in my mouth had the names all wrong:
Herodotus. Herodotus.

My chair was upside down
but I was making it look casual.

Earlier, when my glasses flew off and his glasses flew off
and they did a little orbit around each other
before returning to our faces—
but that was before Herodotus.

Herodotus tells us:
Human happiness never continues long in one stay.

I report my old love in longhand.
I report old grief in perfect sobbing penmanship.
I report my flight from the bar as a series of not-falling,
bat-wing-like movements.

Logographers, I need you! Graffiti artists, I need you!
Dancing man at the bus stop, I need you!

I have staggered free of the wreck of one year,
I can surely come clear of another.

This poem first appeared in the chapbook “In Case of Loss,” Embark Quartet, Toadlily Press