I Am Asking You to Trust My Memory-Wheel

Northridge Review, Vol. 3.2 (1985)

Jordan Jones

	1
The interior of my ear
hurts in pulses, memories
of your explanations for lateness,
each time more inventive.
You began with flat tires and cracked pots, I could believe it.
Then that stray cat along the shoulder you had to catch.
It scratched you.  Where was the scratch?  Where was the cat?
Next, I thought, aliens will be stopping traffic
for smog inspections and Rorschach tests.

	2
Each time you lie you displace me.
I am a refugee wandering a strange country
sifting a dark new language.  You have your wheel and clay;
I have the heat of your kiln.  I will keep your letters
and pottery, the sleek lines of your flat hands,
their enthusiasm.  Don't worry about my memory
and don't send me letters when you're gone.
I must be alone in a room with my own wheel
turning a bust of you out of wet fresh memories.
If you arrive as you are now, not were then,
even on paper, my fingers may poke through the eyes
and form a ghoul of you instead of who I remember.


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