“Memory” by Joan I. Siegal

Joan I. Siegal


As though darkness were a hand,
a tactile memory
like playing the piano.
You touch lost things:
The texture of green walls
in the living room where you lived.
Walls green as a forest at midnight
of the new moon. How a stain
on the ceiling was a bird’s wing
in the shadows of the table lamp. You
and your sister on the floor playing jacks,
comfortable as animals in each other’s
smell. The iron radiator hissing
steam, warming
the room while winter
scored its breath on the window
pane. In the kitchen, voices
of mother and father. Out of nowhere
the notion they could die. Later
the broiler’s red
hot wire. How the blue veins
of the lamb on your plate looked
just like the veins in your wrist.

from Rattle #30, Winter 2008

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