Tuesday Poem

The River Merchant’s Answer to His Wife

—(For A. L.)

The lights of Cho-fu-Sa fade in the distance,
and this will arrive when I do.

Travel has unraveled all my senses; each night
I curl my body around a small piece of silence
waiting in the dark for its sound.

Now my boat rounds the point, the sky lightens,
and at last I begin to hear the monkeys
serenade beneath our window.

I will watch for the silk flag of your sleeve
fluttering on the shore, calling me
to the slim ivory of your wrist.

I promise you we shall grow old together
feeding lychees to the monkeys
each night before we sleep.

by Tim Mayo
Narrative Magazine