after J. M. W. Turner
The strokes layer and pile, rise and fall
in gestures sketching rain, opaque gusts
and salt—I can’t see anything at all
beyond the water’s ochre churn, tall
phantoms building clouds with yellow fists
as whitecaps layer and pile, swell and fall,
cadences whitewashed as if to stall
the storm in mist as memory constructs
my mind—I can’t see anything at all.
The night my father died: I don’t recall
his vapoured words, what trust I lost—
the grief that layers and piles, swells and falls,
churning in dark water’s gaping maw.
Like pigment ground, his image turns to dust,
left to fog the mind. I’ve lost it all
to metaphor: a whiteout in my skull.
A year erased, the ache controlled—recast.
It layers and piles, swells and doesn’t fall.
I can’t remember anything at all.