Outcast Memory

By
They talk about their summer nights:
Fireflies in bottles, warm puddles of
Ice cream and the fireworks,
Those lazy hammock afternoons.
Dark sunglasses that hid their eyes
Like Zorro’s mask; they are mysterious
And carefree, toes cold from the
Salty waves that lap their feet
Like frothy tongues. She listens and drinks in
Their words like lemonade with just enough
Sugar and coolness to ease the summer heat.
They ask, and you? She stops
And remembers.
The dog with matted fur, mud-encrusted feet
That ate the trash outside the door
And slinked away from her eager hands
Longing to caress his flea-bitten face.
The yellowed curtains where
Moths’ fuzzy bodies and tickling wings
Retreated when the pale sun
Rose over the unfinished brick houses,
Where clothes dangled out dirty windows,
Like limp hanging bodies.
She remembers her father
Red and withered like a dried tomato,
Bent, limping, weary eyes.
Big hands, like those of Michelangelo’s David,
A hero frozen in the grasp of time.
She remembers him looking down at her:
Not really a smile, but some wrinkles on those
Leather cheeks, cracking lips quivering
Upward toward the gray-blue sky.





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