In Absentia

Morgue File

I left you standing by a dock
In a harbor blown by winds
I can’t know or name

It seemed fitting
to watch your back against the tide
to know that its muscles, its skin
its granular language
was the syntax pulling me apart
liquid language lost
leaving tattooed fragments behind  

I watch that back fall into me
one last time
as the tide goes out
pulling at skin

copyright all rights reserved Audrey Howitt 2020


  1. "its granular language
    was the syntax pulling me apart
    liquid language lost
    leaving tattooed fragments behind,"

    This is incredibly potent, Audrey!

  2. What a great tale of a couples separation in the mind of the narrator. Was it a love affair that didn't work that caused him to give himself to the sea?

  3. how deep and forlorn-sounding. it makes me teary-eyed. thanks for sharing.

  4. Absolutely brilliant, as the British love to say. I agree with them completely! You are a wonder of writing talent.

  5. Oh, Audrey, this one lets itself be felt deeply. The way you let see (and feel) the speaker's pain is so vivid. While reading the middle stanza, I thought the worse part of the speaker's suffering would be the "tattooed" scars left behind. Then, I get to the end and skin is ripping... Indeed, some hurts don't go away just because the culprit hits the road.

  6. What grabs me is the very first few words, "I left you". It was the speaker's choice, even though they must have had an idea how painful leaving would be. And despite the fully realized pain, they know it is the last time. That speaks of incredible strength to me.

  7. The back falling into you, pulling at powerfully expressed.

  8. This is really awesome work, Audrey, with a KILLER closing stanza. Salute.
    It's funny I didn't see it until tonight (8/3), several hours after having posted THIS:


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