I am going to read
“The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”
the way you once did
for a poetry class
as an MIT senior in 1959.
Years before you would begin
sharing your birthday
with me. I am going
to taste seaweed all morning.
Run through dunes with rolled-up
flannel trousers all afternoon.
Come civil twilight,
the hour of our beloved
early December sky,
we will not hear the mermaids
singing. No, it will be a chorus
of selkies humming like giraffes,
chanting like monks,
bursting with life
beneath the Aerial Lift Bridge
to be heard while crossing over.
Salties and lakers pass through.
Ten years now since you slipped into
the horizon—the grayest of blue seams.