Nocturnal (Horizon Line), 2010, by Teresita Fernández
I’d come to help settle your
mother’s affairs. On the last night,
we ate where she worked all
her life. Now that she’s gone,
you said, I’ll never come back.
Looking out over the dark, you saw
a light in the distance, a boat
crossing the bay, and told
the story of the fisherman
cursed to float adrift
forever. You hadn’t thought of it
since you were a child, and held
your hand across the table to
show me how it trembled.
I didn’t understand until, alone,
years later, wandering the city where
I was born, I stood before
a black wall, polished to shimmer,
and it looked to me like the sea
at night, hard and endless.