At Rest in the Sea (from Permanent Ink on Temporary Pages)

The following is the first poem from my collection, Permanent Ink on Temporary Pages.

At Rest in the Sea

Edgar Allen Poe once said,
“The death of a beautiful woman is the most poetical topic in the world.”
Could he have predicted it would be done to death?
That people would write it and write it until it lost all meaning?
I like to believe that he sleeps in the sea
In something like peace with his Annabel Lee
Because if he rose from his sepulchre, emerged from the waves
I’m not sure he’d like what he sees.

And of course I’m not innocent,
I write the same thing over and over again
I just write it a different way every time
And hope no one notices or at least doesn’t mind.
It isn’t a death in the literal sense,
More like a forking of roads, a departure, an end
Because everyone I see and everyone I meet
Eventually walks away from me
By writing them down, in some way they stay
But all I am left with is words on a page.

I’d write about the road, the departure, the end
But it never quite carries the weight of a friend.
I keep writing letters because darkness is better
Than brightness, at least as a theme
The ocean’s not wetter than tears once unfettered
By the loss of a beautiful thing:

A woman, a man, a faraway land
A friend only met in a dream
A loss is a loss if it’s driving its cost
If you’ve ever lost, you know what I mean.

If we all write the same thing, and keep on repeating
To those who have lost love, it still has some meaning
So maybe Poe’s still at rest in the sea
And I will carry these pages like birds within cages
Until I’m ready to set them all free.

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