Aug 26, 2008

A kind of elegance to the attachments

Written by Bob Hicok

Read by Eric McHenry

Her mind, in its dying, grows
into a version of who she almost was.
For even then, when he came down the stairs,
she said, and nearly dropped the baby,
he did drop the baby
she misnames now as someone else’s child,
a neighbor who lived, not in that city
but another from a different time
altogether. The baby was fine,
I don’t want to cause you pain
as you anticipate your own erasures
through hers, it’s the gift of them
I’m drawn to, how ripping the foreground
away creates a whole new landscape,
one that only remembers at the frays,
one she moves through as with new arms
or new ways of swinging her old arms
to a tune that who cares if it’s real.
How do we say that, what the case is
with the smallest turning of an ant
back to the nest, bearing the dead
to be dismantled into a brighter living?
Until finally there is bowl in her mouth
as she points at a chickadee, giving us earthenware
that flies, that sings as I have long felt
everything sings but was afraid to be corny
and say so. That’s what we’ve done to each other,
made us hide the simple pleas to matter
to matter, as most traditions have killed
the other possible ways of arranging dishes
on the table. So you were saying
she needs greater care. I agree, but not
because she talks like someone’s spinning a wheel
in her head that clicks down to the chance
that any odd word is right. I love that sound
as only someone who isn’t her child could,
as someone who believes that’s the game
we’re all playing. Like right now,
I want a bright word to come up,
one that invokes loss in a numinous way,
but I’m faced, as is so often the case,
with a need to stop, not because an end
has been reached but because middles
are where we live and have to get done
what we can, which is little, mind you,
though this little keeps me busy
and appreciative of the memory books have
when I drop them for the pages I’ve left open,
how they spread as if to say, “this was
important to you, this idea you can’t recall,”
and this forgetting is a new bracket, holding
I don’t know what I can never say where.

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