Exquisite memory

IMG_2742Our collaborative poems in last night’s salon bloomed like cacao flowers, right out of the bark of memory’s tree. Sending out my gratitude and love to everyone who shared in this summer’s literary salons, making the evenings so beautiful with your words—



For her faux leather Louis Vuitton bag, which was not Louis Vuitton

and her “Music Box Dancer” ringtone, not faux, but from the original piano recording, I loved her.

But things started drifting off, a little predictably,

and now I can’t remember the melody, quite.

Two notes drifting up—the horizon a single line

bright on the edge of night,

reflecting in the mind’s sea

with cloud shapes, red balloons, an eagle

and every dreamsicle’s inevitable drop.



It doesn’t always start this way. Just sometimes.

But somehow every ending is the same.

Twilight falls like a stage curtain,

and sudden darkness reveals

fireflies, bravely dancing

among the chasing little girls

wildly ignoring the jazz concert and desserts.

The French couple bark loud world commentary.

I swear the younger man wears the boatneck striped shirt like—



In the air, the scent of Indian spices and

the sound of Brazilian jazz digested the same as food

and the rain, wind-driven

on corrugated tin, hammers,

so unlike the crickets in late August

or the impatient tea kettle scream.

How does he disregard it?

Careful to choose the suavest shirt, the right shade of jeans

for no reason in particular.

Or at least, unstated.



Dawn, sudden, bright.

Sad French jazz, still playing

over the sound of waves and

a quiet heartbeat of mist, rain, and forest—

the new mildews of a home-to-be

burn inside my head, my throat.

Then, as though a phoenix from its ashes,

my voice came back with timbre younger, even naive.

Of all things, the neighbor plays Chopin at nightfall.


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