Old Memories

Between wake and sleep in the hour

Of silent noise of dust and clocks filled space

There are old memories both brittle and tender

Like the fingers of a palm leaf and the shade it spins

On our sunburnt faces, so we bury our cheek on the beach sand

Into another half dream sunk up to our knobby knees

Deep and wet in the riverbed where we collected things

That took shape of arrowheads, or marbles crystallizing planetary nebulas

And sometimes atop the feather-grass knoll we sat cross-legged

To hear the thunder, a sound of steamroll shot from a pistol

Then we’d hear it taper off into the low tides of a cove

Barely whispering into our ears like blown leaves mingling in autumn red

When the day darkened the hour deader than sullen, outside on the curb

The dull warmth of the suburbs, in our throats hummed a Sunday proverb

Imprinting my brain with silent lips

Imprinting my brain with silent lips was only a woman

We casually met in the metropolis

We were together of the nontraditional sense

She was shapely and wan and from her mother’s bath of birth

She was born out of wooded flesh and metal bone

As we strolled along the museum pretending to loiter in profound thoughts

She’d read the veins from leaves of grass pressing a finger against the leaf

It had a pulse and it told her its life story how it lived in the divine soil

The same divine soil grew the pine and oak, the lemon and fig,

The sugar and rice, the white potato and the sweet potato,

The orange orchards where we picked the fruit, and drank its delirious juice

Running from the left corner of her lip, tracing the curve of her bottom lip

Then down, dripping off her pointed chin, and to the moist ground

Her head tilted to the side. Her long neck exposed, darkened by the shadow

She wiped the sweat with a veiny pale hand

The honey odor she radiated surrounded us in a golden and pastoral aureole

Close beside me she clung to me one minute a lasting hour

Stepping over the doorway’s threshold we separated again

Insomnia Cured

When my mother takes her sleeping pills

She thinks she’s drunk

Then like a spinning top ending its spin

Leans over like the tower of Pisa

And topples over me and my brother

Landing on us like we were pillows

Our soft bellies stuffed with feathers and cotton-balls

And stitched up with a gold thread

In her sleep she’s also walking, staring

Talking, stumbling, fumbling

Waking up into a stupor to the infomercials or static of the T.V.

But at 9pm she remembers to go to work from 10pm to 7am

And at 9am, like a shot of liquor, she drinks up the sleeping pills

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