the illusion of memory (20170614)

what is this place–
some kind of dorm
prep school, college?

filled with debris of an old life
this place is unfamiliar in ways that
reveal the lie
of the illusion of memory

here, a set of tibetan prayer flags
piles of books without titles
and so many toys
all things i have never
specifically handled
touched or
loved

the room buzzes with people
a handful of them long dead
every one interested
in helping me clean
scavenging things they want
from my old life
in a rush to get this room ready
for the next inhabitant
dragging objects packed or not
down concrete stairs
to where a moving truck
already stuffed full
awaits

shoppers draw near the scene
–a cosmic garage sale–
offering money
or just taking what they want

impossibly in the room
and on the ground
at the same time
the more i pack the more i discover
items still unclaimed
a box full of glass eyes
coins from foreign lands
an old handheld game

i should feel some kind
of attachment
yet only the dead give me pause

an overwhelming sense
of futility mixed with exhaustion
washes over me

i peel back carpet
and find a rotted wood floor
i have never seen

liminal space beneath a rock (20170215)

today i lifted the rock
where as a child
i always found a menagerie
hapless creatures
slugs pillbugs spiders worms
damp in the shade between
their stone sky
and wet earth beneath
their many feet and raw bellies

only dry dust coated
the bottom of the stone
no damp earth, but a hole
carved through the earth
and in it
the sky on the other side
of the world
as if someone had placed
a mirror beneath the rock

but the sky below
held stars other than sun
and placing my hand through
the small opening
i felt ocean spray
on my palm
and no distance between here
and there