After Memory

The space of memory is emptied
Its volume its mass gives way
To ordinary air to common water

The scrawl of the cartographer’s notes
The reconstructed prairie the unsealed
Unsent letter of ambiguous intent

Are not forgotten but gone erased
Without a smudge or the paper torn
You always imagined the ease of it

The absenting the effacement
The names of things the speed
Of light in its transit superfluous

Without memory there is no desire
Or desire is not more than snow on water
You are fluent at last in the not knowing

Eric Pankey

Eric Pankey

Eric Pankey is the author of twelve collections of poems, most recently Augury (Milkweed 2017). A new book, Owl of Minerva, is forthcoming from Milkweed next year. Pankey is Heritage Chair in Writing at George Mason University.
Eric Pankey

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Author: Eric Pankey

Eric Pankey is the author of twelve collections of poems, most recently Augury (Milkweed 2017). A new book, Owl of Minerva, is forthcoming from Milkweed next year. Pankey is Heritage Chair in Writing at George Mason University.