The Art of Memory


I am reminded
and again,
of my hand,
clammy, limp, and hidden
in the shadow of my sleeve -
curled-up bony shell,
holding only itself
and silence.
I am eleven.
Memories are sharp touches that when seen,
flee their detailed homes,
and dull
like the soft end of my pencil.
Under my desk,
I sketch a willow tree. 
My mother taught me
to draw important things,
            and clearly.
She squinted her eyes and opened
her mouth and tucked her tongue
in the corner.
             “Like this,” she would say.
I, an astute listener, obey her,
            On the desk
            (my desk)
            sit a bunch of brushes
            and a cup:
            water clear, content,
            and at rest.
            I am considering meanings
            of said trees,
            Meanwhile, platonic beasts
            all bundled together
            twiddling with spinning things in their fingers,
            murk things up,
            forget to
            before choosing a new
            Swishing around…
            Such manners!

            is the worst.
             I used
             to be
             the cup.
At any rate,
this desk is perfect. 
At night I rest here – 
my eyes open,
mouth closed pensively.

In taupe I write my list of fears
repeatedly down the tree limbs
             (all in iambs
             and with no meter
             in particular;
             and again,
             and now with a rhythm
             my thoughts
             have cheer.
             It is unnerving).
I unfurl my hand,
trace one finger,
maturing in my mind a time
and a lesson
when told I was soft
in nature. Often, they find
I am paying attention.

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