Claude Lorrain, Capriccio with Ruins of the Roman Forum, 1634 (Wikimedia Commons)


For a long—long
Time I couldn’t remember
Your name—
The word for you
I had forgotten
But carried the image
Within me like
First love—a ghost that hid
In an empty room
Behind a door that was always

In the country ruins
Of two lost souls
Around which the years
Of neglect and growth
Crumbled stone and mortar
Now made entry impossible—

But who sat in the drawing room
Sipping tea from white china
Without me—and sketched
A vision of you from memory?

Published in the July 5, 2019 issue: View Contents

Stephen Rybicki is a poet and academic librarian on the faculty of Macomb Community College, and the author of the reference work, Abbreviations: A Reverse Guide to Standard and Generally Accepted Abbreviated Forms. He lives in Romeo, Michigan.

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