Note to Self
I am my own equivalent.
I’m named after myself.
I’m someone who’s memorized a secret vocabulary
to describe the future.
I believe the world is alphabetical,
that it’s moving unstoppably from A to Z.
Of course, I have to remind myself
that we see only the hands of the clock,
not time, itself,
and that no matter how far we go,
it’s just the distance traveled,
but there are so many directions
it’s difficult to know
which way to proceed.
You can stand perfectly still,
but the commotion is your head
is a red radio
playing all the blue songs, at once,
a box of nails nailed to a wall of boxes.
Once, I got mad at my friend.
It happened in a car.
It was an accident.
I didn’t mean for it to happen,
but it did.
Most things happen that way.
Even music, even death.
Did you know that hummingbirds sing?
They sing to themselves.
You can’t hear them,
I can’t hear them,
but they sing, anyway.
It’s like attending the funeral of someone
you don’t know.
You’re sorry they’re dead,
but you can’t cry,
you can’t shed a tear,
unless they’re someone
who reminds you of someone.
Then you cry.
You cry your eyes out
because you can’t help it.
You cry because they remind you
of someone who reminds you
Cement-dry August. All day, I’ve studied my memories. The past will not apologize. It’s a jeweler cutting stones, but not diamonds.
Underneath that misspelled tattoo, your smooth, bronze skin, a membrane of beauty.
On the phone, you declared, This is not my life, then hung up.
All those years I was afraid to swim in Quarry Lake, its anonymous bottom, like an unlit room, locked.
The police reported it as an accident. I know you were not afraid. Time running out, the underwater crew recovered you, just before their deadline.