Wave after wave lapping at this molecular shore wishing to be dust. We’re gathered on this family bed playing at making each other laugh— her joy and his excitement have no lampshade. We watch each other learn from each other, still these voices echo into some distant future where caves have not yet been painted. I’m gathering all of my attention in order to try to give it to them, yet the best I can do is tell myself it’s not enough, and they don’t think so, but they do think something is missing. They know it and show it in there timidness which is just questioning acceptance. Self-righteousness is innocence refracted. In my head the next morning the scene is something like the end of the world and we’re bunkered in a cave instead of the bed and I’ve got my arms wrapped around them trying desperately to apologize, to make amends, to comfort them and I’m singing in my head but crying while rocking back and forth while plump, fat raindrops smack the windshield and I realize that all of these receptors are also transmitters all that receives also gives.
I woke up this morning to a wrinkled face in the sheets staring back at me, mouth open in sleep. I thought maybe it is the sheets memory of you, and this its performing art. Or is it my performing art and the sheet my stage? I like the way you look when you’re sleeping, because I know you won’t be asking me for something, at least not anything that I’m not already willing to give. If I try to whisper into your ear, or where your ear should be, would the words animate the bedspread, get it to do a little jig? at least that’s what comes to mind in this morning reverie. I haven’t gone outside yet, but I know its likely to be peppermint and whiskers. Like in a dream that’s a memory of a dream, I slide further into the covers and wonder at what it might be like to stay in bed all day. Blanketed by crow haws and blind-filtered light, and the answer comes by the way of cramps and a runny nose. And I sneeze and the sheet- face is covered in snot and spit and now it really starts to get real, I’ve got to jump out of bed, otherwise the day, like this poem, would have no point.
I sat there with her sitting on my lap. Much bigger than she use to be — held in my arms. And I’m watching her and I’m thinking. And I’m thinking. I’m thinking, will I forget this too.
And now I’m trying to remember all those moments I swore I’d never forget. They’re lost in some kind of silence that somehow knows there’s something missing. That’s some scary shit. Because I can see a future where I don’t even recognize the love that got me to that point. There is, however, a little pin- prick of light, a bit of hope in the mess I’m sitting in; I can feel the joy. I can feel the remnants of the joy those memories held, in my bones, those memories, they’re in my heart, and now I think if I were to continue this contemplation the feeling would grow and my rib cage would crack.
Now I’m snapping out of it. Now it’s clear; it’s no wonder I can’t remember. I’m not even here.
Afternoon sunlight through the blinds, a pile of clean clothes on the bed, we do laundry together on Sunday afternoon. It’s nothing we’ve made a habit of yet, but maybe a few years from now it’ll be our weekly chore we do together. You’re great at finding sock matches. I’m shocked by your willingness, and no matter how many times I write it in my head, I know there’s no poem that could do this moment justice.
It’s like solar winds burning away layers of self-incrimination, to make a return to the heart.