Memorial Days

/ /

The park’s in bloom, its gate seeping honeysuckle. I work to shed some flab I gained last winter. It’s a year since I spoke at my father’s grave

Before bayonets and brass bands for his memorial. Twenty-four years of loss I had to disinter And put back again with a smile and a wave.

I can hardly remember what I thought or said. My gravity’s art weakens and uncoils. Eased, what was caught to my orbit drifts.

I slough skin and clip nails, scrub iron pans of fat, Pick up blue Doritos bags, purple soda cans, Some disorder obvious, some imperceptible.

I keep too many books—some his, half still unread, My house a vault piled up with pointless spoils, Acquired or passed down, some stolen, or gifts.

What’s in them? Hearts and wars, cities knocked flat, My father’s marks, lists, sketches, small plans, Lives that in time became impossible.