The Memory is Enormous


In the dark of the room

I see lights from a police car turning
red      then blue       then

The books on the shelves seem hesitant

If I say that I loved you - that it really fucks me up to think about it
and that it ends a season before it begins –

Will someone please turn off the alarms

In the street there is a car and it has run into something and that something is an

There is that drive to the airport

An image of all that is wrong – spinning in some pocket of time

like a goddamn metaphor for everything and yet – there it is

Life      caught by the grill of an SUV on the highway
murdered like some cow –

I raise the blackjack and think about what body to place under it

The dark is carbon paper

The trapped object is a dog – wild or otherwise

The body - is cartwheeling

Here is what happened:

             The dog ran across three lanes of highway
             Barely making it
                                  – I almost was the one –

            Breath stopped as it reached the median – I prayed as if I believed in God
                      that it would stop – sit – and be –

            Two more lanes – this dog – running like it was on fire

            The grill of the SUV
                        Silver – breaking light the way boats break water

            The dog's body was unhinged

            It – spun like a top – like some trapped
                        perpetually spinning thing – generating nothing

            I know that we made eye contact because I began to scream –

There it spins
            – cars slow down to look –

A black hole in the middle of the highway

And what I'm not talking about is that I was picking you up at the airport

That this is so difficult

That it was some kind of warning – that it was the last time

            I was driving towards you and the lights were flashing
red      then blue       then

Instead of stopping I kept screaming and crying and screaming and I was driving
and then I saw you and your eyes and then the moment and the moment in
duplicate and then the moment repeating until the end of the universe

I was waiting in the dark for the lights to stop so I could go to sleep

So that the books would stop holding their breath

So that I know that others aren’t falling into the swirl of gravity

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michael j. wilson's

first collection of poetry, A Child of Storm, is out now from Stalking Horse Press. He is an adjunct in the Creative Writing and Literature department at Santa Fe University of Art and Design as well as a food writer for the Santa Fe Reporter.