Deborah Hogarth McDermott
The week after he left
it was easy to think of him
her memories etched like blocks of skyscrapers
on a clear blue horizon
against a cloudless sky.
Now it has been several weeks
and the horizon is a torn vein of red
against a frigid sky
her memories of the two of them together
trapped in a time warp
that is neither dawn nor dusk.
Winter has arrived too soon.
When the wind picks up
she hides her body in the folds of a loose fitting parka
She thinks that the faster she walks
the more easily he will come to mind
as if her heart were a piston
jump-starting her brain.
In calmer moments
she remembers some of the features of his face
His intense green eyes, forever fixed on her
like lizard's eyes
and his evenly spaced teeth unnaturally white
at night, when he grinned the grin of a Cheshire cat.
She wants to be able to remember the important things:
how when they kissed, their mouths seemed welded together
how when they hugged, their bodies seemed sculpted as one
how when they talked, their words conjoined ...
But those images are forever shifting
and leaving her
like snowflakes dissolving into rivulets of water
along a heated window pane.
One day when the snow is gone
she must resolve to pack up all her memories of him
and bury them in labeled boxes
in a dark corner of her clothes closet.
For only in resolving not to remember
Will she never forget.
Poem © 2000 Deborah Hogarth McDermott, all rights reserved
appears here by permission