The tide rises slowly.
Water rolls and heaves,
pilfering layers of sand
from the inconstant edge.
And I recall your devotion
to an eastern sunrise, the chill
of the Charles, the Atlantic’s pull.
This break is the ache in the base
of my thumb, its cartilage thinning,
scrape of bare bone.
It hovers like dust
in the corners of my bedroom,
commingles with dog hair
behind the closet door,
glints like limestone
in the garden, the path curving
away from the front porch.
It appears in my rearview
mirror, climbs into
the passenger seat through the open
window in springtime.
It lifts me softly, like the swell
of an ancient sea, erasing
the shore, swallowing its leavings,
its breakers the cadence of loss.