All that remains is an absurd prophecy
by a fortune-teller on the bank – a laugh
to mark another weekend. And his care
for our step: a slip, and we would be
silt discharged a thousand miles off,
he said. The current giddied us, and where
we stood the water swirled west, the far side
missing as a memory. A mile, two perhaps…
Beyond, we guessed hills, history,
and somewhere east, forbidden, its wide
fabled swerve a dream inlaid on maps
consecrating a country.
Later, headed home we horsed
about those wives foretold, the dozen kids;
behind, that silent swell receded, set
on its inexorable Heraclitean course,
time keeping pace on tarmac-ed skids.
We were not quite twenty-five yet.
Four lifetimes now, and it returns
to niggle, a flame unexpunged by age
or circumstance: the perfunctory kiss
others wrested (adept of course) burns
like lover’s gall. That silly Sunday sage,
smiling wisdom, didn’t foretell this.