Why Did She Keep the Bamboo Knife + Spoon?

Because she wants to remember
how she indulged in a first class
airline ticket once.

Because she forgot the fork.

Because she will never forget
where she returned from:
the Vineyard + the City.

Because she can use them again.

Because she admires the knife’s
serratted edge, the subtle concave
curve of the spoon.

Because left-handers dominate her family.

Because she likes how eco-friendly,
biodegradable bamboo utensils
sounds when whispered

into a warm blanket after midnight.

Because she doesn’t need to worry
about stumbling upon her
reflection in them.

Because she must remember the guilt.

Because she refuses to settle
for the dead man’s float
when the tide goes out.

Because NYC where anything is possible.

Because the SeaGlass carousel
in the Battery has 30
internally illuminated,

shimmering fiberglass fish
that rotate on turntables inside
a chambered nautilus shaped pavilion.

Because John Lennon and the Dakota.

Because reflecting pools cover
the footprints of twin towers. Because
20 years can’t erase unspeakable loss.

Because it was a skunk she smelled.

Because where she learned
to swim
the ocean + the street.

Because the Beacon on Broadway.

Because feeding
pigeons + squirrels
also feeds rats.

Because the Rocky Beach.

Because the Flying Horses, the second
merry-go-round she would ride
that week, was her first.

Because no brass ring this time.

Because she’s a weathered cedar shake
in silent conversation
with stone walls winding up-island.

Because she never took the Middle Road.

Because Little Island rising
from the remnants of Pier 54
in the Hudson River.

Because danger hollow sidewalks in SoHo.

Because the Central Park reservoir
+ its remarkable views of residential
skyscrapers sprouting like weeds.

Because Nomans Land through the clouds.

Because tranquil greenery
belies hidden unexploded ordnance
buried beneath.

Because estuaries + the third rail.

Because tornado warning alarms
on her phone, relentless wind + rain,
rattling Surfside Inn walls,

+ wild reports of water spouts spotted
near the Aquinnah cliffs kept her
awake the last night on the island.

Because running along Beach Road.

Because she thought she might die
right then + there. Because
that would be okay with her.

Because the Brooklyn Bridge.

Because To the Lighthouse
is a book
+ a sign.

Because a lone swan in the lagoon.

Because Mildred Howard’s “The House
that Will Not Pass for Any Color
than its Own” on Belvedere Plaza.

Because saudade.

Because home is fluid + eco-friendly
+ the answer to every question
ever asked of a poem.

Because what if that was the last time.

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