Wrecked and beached,
I saw a sailboat
in the same state.

On a bed of jagged stones,
it slept, surrounded
by cellphone photographers,
more concerned with novelty
than the captain’s predicament.

I looked at the ocean.
A fish knows neither wind nor sky
but still feels the effects
of roiling waters.
It witnesses disturbed sediment.
Does it sense the broader possibilities?
Do we?

This was, for me,
the second strangest moment
in that day.

I had looked at my wife
in the house we share,
and for a moment it was as if
I did not recognize her
and did not know anything
about her.

Like déjà vu, a sudden split
made fissures within
the safe consistency
of perception.

And I realized then
this brittle moment
was no exception.
It was reality,
the unfamiliar truth
so seldom glimpsed.

The idea of knowing her
was illusion.
It did not matter
the amount of time
or words shared.
She would be forever

Recognizing this unknowability
made me closer to her.
It made her less of me.

What good is comfort
if its symptoms include blindness?
Especially, blindness towards that
which gives the comfort?
When we were new to one another,
were we not more electric
with uncertainty?

I decided, then,
I ought to take her out
to this shipwreck,
so that we could stand before it
and wonder about every aspect,
every line and every shadow,
that elegant mast, those scattered
molding cushions from the V-berth.

We would be liberated
in our ignorance,
as we tried to piece
the story together,
before finally accepting
the chaos of the storm.

I stepped to the side of this sailboat
And looked at her name.
I smiled, finding it ironic
As I read the word painted:

In our minds, we keep
A poor reflection.

In our hearts, we feel an approximation
of what could be lived.