Emily, Twelve Years Later

If you’d asked me, I wouldn’t have remembered it had been today.
From the train on the way to work I could almost point out the house
that had caught fire last week.
That is, through the clutter of construction on the bridge, I could almost
point out the empty space where that house had been.
Absence will, in time, become its own sort of presence, a fragment
of a photograph reduced to its negative.
Absence, in time, gathers its own weight:
call this “The Persistence of Memory” or “298 Beacon Street” or “Emily,
Twelve Years Later” or
leave it untitled.
If you’d asked me, I wouldn’t have remembered
except for a friend who said that today
finally felt like the first day of spring.
On the way home from work a girl, who looked like Emily might have
looked, almost got on the train, and I realized
I could not remember her last name.

Michael Berkowitz is a poet, web developer, and aspiring trapeze artist currently living in Somerville, Massachusetts. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Eunoia Review, Hermes Poetry Journal, and Bird's Thumb.