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Connie Voisine

There’s a Certain Brightness the Forgetful Mind Allows

We were young then, fledglings
with no real fingers to speak of.
Moist-eyed and bleery,
Memory provides a vague, large shape
And unconsolable sounds. I think of one ton
of sadness stomping through the garden
and you and me fleeing – into the woods?
To roost, at boreal as we were then?
Maybe blackness swooped beyond
our catapults and stones,
its triangular head aero dynamic
and mocking above the smoky swamp
we called ours.
We might have taken it home
for domestication, we did that then,
but I don’t know.
Would it have torn the curtains, shat
on the floor? Did it turn
in its humid kennel, choking
on groans? What we ignored during
dinner, during sleep, during all he
puny housekeeping?
when we found, centuries later, rocks
wounded by work, rocks full of
gorgeous bones, we saw them as books
full of strangers.
With our happy tools and fire, we were
sure we had never known something so
odd and cold-blooded. On sunny days
we might catch a streak of dark scuttling
through weeds, stumble over an awkward tool,
or a hiss of dry skin animates
a crack in the garden wall