With her gone from his life,
he holds his breath, water boarded,

She was svelte, delicately erotic
as women in Fragonard’s paintings.

He fingers reliquaries
in a White Owl Cigar box:
the diamond ring he gave her,
bobby pins, lipstick and comb
with strands of golden hair
left in their bed when she fled.

Clairvoyant, knowing all along,
their love was not meant to be,
he tugged at the tendrils of her soul,
but unseen flagella swept her away.

She disappeared like a wily sea serpent,
evading the thrust of the eel spear,
hiding in clumps of Irish moss
and layers of kelp.

He chased the elliptical contours of her heart,
grasping at drops of mercury.