The Winter Getaway begins Friday! I am going to bite the bullet and install Twitter on my phone, simply because I imagine there will be several occasions when I want to post updates, but want to avoid my computer or won’t have access to it. I will then promptly delete it from my phone on Monday. I lucked out with the new holiday calendar at work; we have off MLK Day, so I don’t need to use my hard-earned PTO for this. If you’re going, I’ll see you there, and if not, stay tuned, for I will do my best to keep updating. (For the Refinery, I may post it on Friday instead of Saturday, just to be sure; I suppose I could do a timed post as well.)
We Write Poems wants something about revising the past/memory through writing. I’m going to be a little bit mysterious, and say that this poem is not what you think it’s about, probably. But if it helps you to think of it as “advice on a breakup”, then who am I to argue you out of it?
Leave your photographs out in a Southern sun
until he blanches into islands of edgeless light.
Draw a needle over the records of his voice,
turning its timbre to a thread of crackle and hiss.
Wash his clothes a hundred times, so when they ask,
what colors did he wear, you can say you don’t know.
Cut up his letters into strips for the birds,
who will weave their walls in the too-far-off spring.
Give away his stories and his stacks of change
to the untold homeless at your sneakered feet.
And then soak that memorized body in tallow
with a wick blooming from his hair to be burnt down.
When you’re done, there will be an aleph of smoke,
paper in the gutter, and someone else’s name.
Exhale strongly, and turn three times for a charm,
in search of some other air to breathe.