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Friday, April 24, 2009

Merrimack, NH

What, when I return,
as I did today, to the place
where I was raised, am I—
knowing that I will never find it—
looking for?

And why,
as I move through charged space, marking
all that has changed, holding
out for something

recognizable,
am I reporting all I see
and all I miss
to you,
invisible beside me?

Nosing among new-named streets,
blank buildings whose histories confront me
with aimless urgency
old spots among the smear of the new:

the restaurant where I used to work,
the house of Nicky’s parents
with his name still on the mailbox,
the spot where Sandy,

on the day before we all left for college,
knowing she was the one in the world
I most wanted to love
leaned in at my window
and made an offering of goodbye, and

the place I last saw Kathy
before she died.

I know that here is where the text of whatever it is
I go back to read
must be read. But I don’t know why,

before I set my eyes on how little
of all I remember remains,
before I gave over the questions again,
I was already writing these words,
to you.

2 comments:

  1. I think this to be a very beautiful poem, full of simultaneous meanings and cohabitative times. A beautiful snapshot of not necessarily time projected in our world, but of our mind and its placement (its thinking) in a 'time'. It also brings out the irony of time itself; how it can move while some things remain; how some things remain while others are long gone. It is a friction caused by differing speeds. And lastly, not necessarily that the poetic voice changes, but its audience, as it reveals almost by confession.

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  2. Careful and astute. Thank you.

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