Because everything is in motion:
bone, ivory, shell. And blood
doesn’t hold on to anything
but itself. Because there are worlds
of ant and whale, girl and boy.
And some infinities are larger
than other infinities. Because iron filings
can reveal invisible lines of force.
And my mother’s last words were:
help me. Because my father loved
Lincoln’s general—the one who drinks
and still wins the War—and the past
is a fine skin that does not protect.
And I did not know that loss could be
so ordinary: my mother reaching
into a cupboard for a glass, saying
take something, anything.
And I don’t know if memory
is a place or a map of the place.
Only that I did not come this time
to find her. And I never did ask
Originally published in Public Pool, 2016.