Ancients threw the masks down the cenote—
the faces smashed first in little ways before
the long drop, an eye or an ear broken, a mouth snapped
in half. Then, lifted from the well, two thousand years
later, still grinning and golden. The loose spooling of two
people fast unravels—how we let go of time spent,
how heat fades, how a body forgets fully what it knew.
I have learned your face as you will never.
The third day we met you gave me all your secrets
until I held an ocean in a cradle. Now all I ask for is more.
Source: Poetry (September 2009).
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This poem originally appeared in the September 2009 issue of Poetry magazine