Loading icon

trying to remember some things (digging up old memories)

Poetry & Prose | February 11, 2019

I don’t remember much about our first apartment.

a beautiful old stone planter

taller than I yet un-looming

a wonderful pale gray

fleurs de lis in bold carving on the side.

it housed the hydrangea bush

its blushing petals in the venetian sunlight

beams glancing past and off the tv screen:

it becomes an artifact,

an antique curiosity among the wicker

a worn idol in an ancient tomb.

I begin to excavate.

 

the spring street bookstore

holding both (!) of my parents’ hands

in radiant sun and post-rain haze

when the wood and brick wore the damp’s perfume.

there’s more.

chocolate croissants

strange mystic symbols in the cafes

crescent moons with long-lashed eyes

cubist figures on neat brown bags of coffee

pigeons loitering outside.

I dig further.

 

my parents,

strangely cinematic in their youth.

neighbors sitting cross-legged in the living room

all of them wine-drunk, bubbling

ruddy affection daubed on their cheeks.

adoration in the coos of caretakers.

gripping a door frame and peeking through

each entrance a portal,

awed by small things like oddly shaped keyholes.

I’d peer through them, size up the room

eyes flitting behind such odd filters

not unlike memory, that strange egress

with its claustrophobic periphery,

pinhole vision which at once

magnifies and obfuscates.

my arms are getting tired

the artifacts become more obscure,

fewer and further between.

I stop digging.

 

memory deludes as much as it reveals,

is something that occurs to me as I pack up my site,

set down my tools and make some final archaeological notes.

but I cherish these vague vignettes,

all the blurred edges

and their improbable beauty.