You said when you flew to Sydney from St. Louis,
you left on Wednesday, and arrived on Friday.
The time elapsed was more than the flight time.
For just a moment, I forgot about the International Dateline,
thinking just of your lost day. What happened to Thursday?
Maybe you lived a different kind of time. Maybe
you don’t remember. Maybe the veil grew thin, and you
passed through, and saw your mother, your first dog.
Or was it just shifting scenes, all the confusion of a dream?
Beautiful confetti of petals, faces, sparkles on the sea?
Or could you mold it as you wished? A series
of perfect moments: that surprising second kiss;
the moment when you realized you could read;
that picnic afternoon so long ago—the cloth spread out,
the light just right, and everyone around you.
Or if the lost day were not a recap, not a montage of your past?
Something not experienced. New. What might it have been like?
Post-Corona Virus. Afterwards.
No longer a dissonance between global events
and a perfect blue sky. No daily daunting death tolls.
What if the greater world would now be marked
by more equality, and we could turn once more
to each other, never again failing to appreciate touch.
And when he came to you, you would be that guitar in the corner, dusty
from disuse, and he’d pick you up, he’d hold you then, and play you.
Everything would shimmer with the newness Adam saw in the Garden,
the birds back a little early, not even waiting for full Spring.
Carolyn L. Tipton teaches at U.C. Berkeley. She has won fellowships from both the N.E.H. and the N.E.A. Her first book, To Painting: Poems by Rafael Alberti, won the National Translation Award. Her second book of translated poems by Alberti, Returnings: Poems of Love and Distance, won the Cliff Becker Translation Prize. Her third book, The Poet of Poet Laval, a collection of original poetry, has recently been published by Salmon Poetry of Ireland.