Drowning the Ring

Have you ever thrown a ring into Iguazu Falls? I have. It was a thick silver band that I wore on my wedding ring finger off and on for 2 years. I was 25 when I hurled it into the abyss. Love, the easiest most accessible word to describe the origins. But love is never just love; shield, addiction, identity, long distance longing, fulfillment, failure. She had a matching ring too, the she who wasn’t in Brazil with me, the she who was somewhere on the east coast, the she who was no longer a part of me. Not that anyone is ever really a part of anyone, even in those supine minutes (hours?), gliding puzzle pieces that must eventually disconnect.

We bought the rings at Isla Negra, Neruda’s home overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Chile. You feel that you are destined for me, we believed together, waves crashing poetry, wet ghosts of Pablo. Love. Time passed, time finishing college apart, time in Spain together, then the Atlantic between us for months, then years. Over, done, but I kept the ring. Until that moment when we charged the cascading white water, the same water her parents watched on their honeymoon decades ago. Throw it! My friends urged. They knew I wanted to bury it forever. I looked at it for brief last seconds, dented, mostly smooth, then threw it like a high fly ball. Weightless now, sun, frothy water, glint of silver in the air, then drowned, dead.


Manicured ladies in stilettos navigate ancient smooth
stoned pathways, corridors assembled during Roman times.
Their legs, butt cracks, and cleavage pattern the night,
wafts of perfume mingle with the smell of grilled
octopus and cigarettes.

Some cling to tan wrinkled arms
of sugar daddies, men with white chest hairs
attached to fortunes drenched in cologne.
I never visit the island for Gucci or Fendi,
air-conditioned square shops of consumer luxury.

The purring cicadas surrounded by sea
are my siren song, blue water darkening as it journeys
to Tunisia. Pulsating, my calves quiver up and down steps
to Villa Jovis where Tiberius reigned supreme, decadently
tossing the unwanted off cliffs into the watery
chasm of time.

The ruins sit unaffected by sun’s sweat dripping
from my elbows. I rest in pine tree shadows, imagine when
Neruda was here, arranging verse in his head. Away from the glitz,
everything is as it was, as it is, ants, jasmine, laughter
of the old women who were born in Capri,
born by the sea.