Starry spirals float on the TV screen, snowflake
galaxies telescoped back in time, so our memory
is now thirteen billion years old, burning, not
melting, starry campion flowers in the sun. Where
was that? By the cold green creek, petals sparkling
in sand, in limestone bluffs, detritus of diatoms,
crinoid sea-lilies, five-armed feather-stars,
calcified memory blooming deep inside the rock
the boys and I jumped off of into a swimming
hole that time needed five hundred million years
to make so the creek could flow. How I wish
I could step my bare feet into that water again.
Carrying memory like trying to pick water up
out of the creek, losing more than I get to keep.
Lonely for the dead, those I can no longer touch,
those alive but older, their young selves running
through my brain’s labyrinth, like Miz Venola
remembered me at one-day-old, my tiny fingers
scratching at my face, grasping at whose hands?
Mama’s white, Laura’s dark, stark history, centuries
to pull myself up to, into, now we call it the struggle
to know what we are born into. When they died,
their me ceased to exist, leaving me to this task,
trying to hold onto each minute of new memory
until my red neuron stars can filament finger
millions, some new connection with the past,
ignition, yes, it is just us and neurogenesis, red-
shifting forward toward multiple possible eternity.

Minnie Bruce Pratt

Attribution-Non-Commercial-No Derivs
Creative Commons 2010

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