J & I. E. M. by M. A. Schaffner

It came from the wreck of the Maple Leaf:
rounded shoulders, naked and cool.
It must be a trace of another life,
distant enough to twist the memory
to either fairy dream or horror show.
I almost seized it then, before the class,
and then outside in strangely clammy cold,
the Spanish moss against electric sky,
acrylic waters under the slender bridge
that carries drunkards home from city jobs
to strip-malled highways lining scrubby fields
dotted with double-wides and clumps of pines
specked with kites like alabaster scissors.
More time would pass, as more yet will, the tomb
always a wish or questioned remembrance,
the place always a challenge to the view,
a lovely line never enough to hold
the old, however lovely, to the new.

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