Thursday, October 01, 2015
use of memory
You'll be walking along and then
something happens to you.
Maybe it's wonderful!
, but either way, you write it down
right then, you draw it out
in colored chalk, on and along
the bumpy cobblestone curbs
of your shade-dappled sidewalk mind.
So that years,
it's still there.
You're not sure now what street or town
- except, it's summer.
It always seems to be.
Why is that?
Most every rough draft
of your memory, it seems
to gravitate towards those days
of hot, red blood,
mostly from stubbed toes
- leaving your poor toe with a jaunty hat!
of a skin-flap, still attached
but throbbing, stinging
and cocked at an angle. Later,
running over more forgiving ground,
the bay shore sand
sticks all over, a scab-sand composite
making a gritty bandage - clotted
clean. And your brother, slapping you
smack across the back
with a live jellyfish!
flung sidearm through the air without regard
to possible consequences for his own
poor hand! And
mosquitoes. Not even worth
slapping at. Not in those days.
Even if the old suburban wives'
legends about them
sucking the itch right back out
with the last of their blood meal
(if you leave them alone)
wasn't true, you secretly loved
to scratch the welts. Ah,
your own blood!
You used to be such close
friends with it. And memory!
a popsicle. It could never fail
to shock, and usually
in a good way: so technicolor cold
; at first your lips stick, your tongue
sticks; so cold
you can't really tell the flavor, only
because you saw it. In this way,
we learned what colors taste like.
Now you suck blind on a memory.
You'd unwrapped it
- hoping for red!
No. Damn: grape.
Still good! (Anything but
with sucks, slurps
and licks, your mouth pulls
all the cold off, and
your tongue (your whole mouth
!) starts to taste
, artificial flavor
that had been trapped in ice
the whole time.
And is now released.
dripped and rubbed
on palms and fingers,
and fingertips, dripping rivulets
through and between and off them
to fall in space, first drops of rain
from a storm that could only have
blown in from Oz: Purple,
or Red, or Orange, or
- green, god forbid. The sidewalk
behind you, drip-dyed as you walk.
What color's your tongue?
You know full well.
So you write it down
Right then. You write it
in memory, because who can be bothered
with pencil? Pens
, papers? Homework
In memory, it's summer.