Things forgotten

“ …stay forever young and beautiful”

                                   Robert Walser

 

once in another city,

streetlights haloed with

rainwater, the asphalt,

 

onxy for a moment

or two, you, any you,

forgotten, perfected;

 

still, it’s the proposition

that matters more than

memory, insistent images

 

curled round the droplets

in your hair or raised like

opals along your cheeks;

 

damp grass, a Norway

spruce, its needles rain-

tipped and luminous, as well;

 

June; not far off, a stream

swells and murmurs,

a lock of wet hair falls

 

across your face, you lift

it back carefully, as though

part of a string instrument,

 

reordering, for the moment

at least, the rain, its clamors

harmonic, recomposed ;

 

it is not the ecstatic

I’m reaching for here,

a hand or a sentence merely

 

invading a bright

occasion but the recognition

that something has emerged

 

from what I thought of

as a set of random images,

the passing delights myriad

 

droplets make possible,

so what if what has been

proposed is seen, constructed

 

out of memory certainly

but not remembered, not

called up or recollected,

 

an invention for the past,

the you grown specific,

an I, of course, implied,

 

each present in this

invented time filled

with refracted light

 

 

 

 

 

 

Michael Anania is a poet, essayist, and fiction writer. His published work includes more than a dozen books of poetry, among them Selected Poems (l994), In Natural Light (1999) and Heat Lines (2006). A new collection, Continuous Showings, has just been published by Mad Hat. His work is widely anthologized and has been translated into Italian, German, French, Spanish and Czech. He has also published a novel, The Red Menace, and a collection of essays, In Plain Sight.

Anania is Professor Emeritus of English at the University of Illinois at Chicago and a member of the faculty in writing at Northwestern University. He lives in Austin, Texas, and on Lake Michigan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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