Tag Archives: memory


He enters her dark room
like a ghost
illuminated by memories
woven into the fifty-year-old shirt
he’s wearing—
the one his father never gave him—
the one he acquisitioned
after a soul passed from this life
into ashes—
and for all he knows
his father wore
that soft blue polyester shirt
with the once-fashionable collar
to work and back home
or to gamble away a paycheck
at the track
or to visit his mother’s grave
or to pick out paint
for the bedroom of his youngest son
or to a hundred church picnics
or to a meeting
with other intellectuals
to discuss the impact of Vietnam—
and maybe once upon a time
his father was disrobed
by a woman who wasn’t his wife
and maybe the shirt remembers
how it feels
to be unbuttoned
by a passion that doesn’t exist
back home in the bedroom
where it hangs.








“Four Lane Road” by Edward Hopper, 1956


So rare
is the steak before me.
Not the rawness
but the frequency.
I can count the years
since I’ve had
a steak like this:
the flavor of reward,
the taste of a craving
finally satisfied.
But the price is so high
I can’t appreciate
the way the seasoning
has been perfected
over time.
I begin to wish
a pizza was before me–
chicken, spinach and tomato.
Those familiar flavors
into a circle of happiness
melted together
at 1000°–
the temperature of my heart
in love with a memory
it isn’t ready to swallow.





Where No One Can Follow

Rain all morning
nowhere to go
but inward
where the memories
are stored
where the only thing
that can reach me
is music—
a guitar
and a couple of voices
in harmony
that seem to be saying
all the things I can’t.





“Meridian Street, Thawing Weather” by T.C. Steele, 1887

Lost Love Almanac, Entry #1

I don’t have a photograph
of my favorite memory with you—
you sitting at the kitchen table
with your reading glasses on
after you’d just read to me
a passage from your favorite book.
You look so content
with your eyes settled on the page—
and this snapshot is clearer to me
than any photograph of you
looking happy or silly or serious—
and I pretend in that moment
we both forgot that there was
a clock on the wall pointing out
it was time for me to get home.







First Encounter

how the mind
finds as much
in memory
as it does
in the infinite hope
of daydreams—

as it is
to imagine
what’s to come,
what encounters
we have
to look
forward to—

it’s the
of my navel
a cup
for your pleasure
that makes me
smile and pause—

and I stop
whatever it is
that needs
to be done
so I can slip
beneath you
once again
when I close my eyes.






Duane Michals, 1969 “The Young Girl’s Dream”