Matthew Domingos

Until Our Memory Empties into the Atlantic

Peter do you remember the time
when you came to the Cape
you came sleeping in my father’s
red fish truck as he hauled lobster
down the North Shore
past all those fried clam shacks
and I know he never stopped
not once
not for food
though later my ma
when she heard
she got so
angry at him
she had explicitly
told him to stop
she said she told him
but he didn’t
he had to make the time
and anyways later
I saw you coming up from the cottage
I was grabbing at crabs
until your bleached blonde hair
broke the horizon
of the dunes
and I always wished
I had bleached blonde hair
like yours
and not the same coal black type
of my portuguese cousins
who would run barefoot
down Commercial street
past the drag queens
to dive for coins off the pier
for all the big kneed tourists waiting
for the whale boats
to come back in
and Peter do you remember
during the day
when to play a game
we would bury our volleyball in the sand
we’d take turns to find it
until your last night in town
when we couldn’t find it anymore
it was lost, buried
and we spent all the rest of
the blood orange sunset
looking for it
we even got up early the next morning
and the last thing I saw of you
was that blonde hair flicker
past me out the door
and my dad running you back north
with full stomachs this time
just to make it home again
and Peter you were bound for the Little Ivies of
New England
all the ones I would never think of getting into
years go by
I would read
how just a year before
they found you there
that night in your car in Portland
I asked someone
if it was later after college
had it snuck through the side door
like some thief
were your veins poisoned by
the same deadeye roads past the Hilltop
and the rust iron quarries north of Boston
on route 128
and Peter even though we hadn’t said a word in years
it was later I would realize
memory stays buried
just like that beach ball
did that day years ago
deep in the burnt sands
at the end of the Cape.

Matthew Domingos lives with his wife and family in Virginia. He writes when he can, usually at the most inconvenient times on anything he has available to him. He edits at night on an old computer after the kids go to bed.