At first, I thought the past was leaping out to haunt me
deep in the back pockets of my journals and sewing kits.
I heard it first - a murmuring stream growing into the Atlantic
Ocean, the shrill wind shaking billboards and powerlines.
Behind me, I felt it, the breath of October fog edging
up against my spine, undoing my hair, my repeated shivers.
Though the things I remember might not have happened,
like the evacuation, the Raritan River bridge underwater
the hydroplaning cars flooding the parkway.
Lights, and then no lights.
When I woke up, I traced your face
in the reflection of Lake Lenape.
We sat there and I scrolled through the census the year before
only 2,135 neighbors around us. You must have known
I was always bound to end up in a big city, not far from the water
and the voice I save on my answering machine actually
sounds relenting now, as if all the malice I expect when I open
that honey jar in that shoebox you covered with lines from my favorite poems
wasn’t the only thing that was left there all those years ago.