Yes, That’s Why


Perhaps we love the shore
because the debris here could not be ours
no matter how hard our lives.

Or because the long shelf of land
continues on under the water
so even here at the edge

of the world the edge is uncertain.
Perhaps we love that the water rises
to uncertain levels leaving

and returning. We may love
the shore as we love the madwoman
who repeats the same phrase

endlessly, as we love the dying
who go on living, the traveller
who promises return.

Here, just here, we leave
no mark. Spume renders footprints,
castle, cry the same.

It’s all the same
what we say to the traveller,
the dying, the madwoman:

Come back, I love you, come back.

-Penelope Austin

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