Today's poem is by Benjamin S. Grossberg

One Last Thought

And what if one finally can't be found? What if Leander
decides to make another choice?
                                                Is there a myth

of a man who walks out to the shore and stares at it
so long that he forgets himself and eventually is forgotten
even by gods? He's still there, five ages after
his civilization has become only traces in stone.

Or how about a man who thinks he sees a water nymph,
but instead of being drawn into the water after her,

he squints and stares as the Aegean sun
his bones beneath his skin. He squints and stares

as the years waste him away, until Aphrodite takes pity
on unfulfilled desire and turns him into a conch shell,
recessing inward in ever decreasing spirals, filled only
with the compensating thrum of the ocean.

And the wood nymph who loved him? The Goddess
turned her into a hermit crab—
                                              sometimes she finds him out

and fills his endless declivity like a muffle in a horn,
tuning him to love, bringing him along for a while.

Copyright © 2007 Benjamin S. Grossberg All rights reserved
from Underwater Lengths in a Single Breath
The Ashland Poetry Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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