(when all memory is a memory)
This is the only day you wake up.
Your long gold hair spreads across the white pillow,
and your Daddy sleeps downstairs in his wheelchair,
but you do not remember being too tired of farm routines
to bathe him.
The one whose mind shrunk away
as he mastered excreting on himself
has become your equal. This is the day you are free
from the dusk when your Daddy looked at you,
five years ago, like you were someone
he couldn’t be mean to, someone
who he could smile at after rage—
an un-loved one—
It is again like when you were four and Daddy held your hand
by the creek with the cattails with which he hit you,
and you laughed in the burst of white seeds:
you don’t mind him.
Yesterday—the last one—you turned down your urban sister
when she asked if you needed assistance
because trouble is something that can be helped.
This is life, what holey screen-doors and windows are locked
to keep out, that entity which now lives through you instead of you
Today—eternal—it is like you never lied.
You are over Daddy’s head, upstairs,
under silk sheets that are no longer your favorite,
unable to remember that you should remember
that walking is good, an escapee from assumption,
where you will starve to death,
free from the tyranny of rush.
Your mouth hangs open slightly, presently. Next to your bed
is a pocketbook full of green papers, strange faces,
and eyes. There is a square with buttons on glass
you can press to reach someone
who won’t tell you to try again.
On the ceiling over you, there are spots of dark mold
that resemble things living,
because you cannot name them, while a black spec
buzzing outside the word “buzz,” circles a glass bulb,
mesmerized by the interior burn marks beyond its space and time.
“Now” is an impossible dream
you never lived in, only through,
as you made memories (and nothing else),
but now are finally still.