2018 Academy of American Poets Prize

Lethe

by Tanya Grae
 
 
For all the fish, the little blessings that I missed,
maybe I should just thank you. We can leave
the dress behind that didn’t fit or fly to a new city
& wear the metropolis as our skin. Things happen,
how one love becomes another. In seasons, maybe
it’s okay to remember how I lived multitudes of lives.
Where does oblivion begin? Years I tried to forget?
And be reborn? Not as a naiad. No. I want feathers
& dark. Let me be the hunter. According to Virgil,
I’m almost ready. But if long to stay, I should know
how I got here. How I—Have I been drinking
your water so long I’ve erased whole passages?
Maybe I’ll forget. I forget everything these days.