Requiem — My Virginia Woolf

by Richard Jarrette

I didn’t know the contours of my own face till you
held it in your hands and said, I’m taking this everywhere.

These seven days, Katja, seem like seven thousand years
since you walked into your River Ouse
backpack laden with momentos.

I think the tip of your cigar, held aloft, was the last
thing you saw, laughter forcing black
water into your lungs.

Here the west wind gnarls a cypress on the headland,
fragments of what I can release of you swirl
through sea grass on the tide.