December 2012 - Comments Off

Family History

Esme Franklin '13

The heart in the left side of my face has gone into cardiac arrest.
Triads of stairs to small landings or large pick-ups remind me
my knees are genetically weak. I mouth this to myself

in a crowd of people. We have always had dementia—
the only difference is that now we live long enough
to bear witness to our minds’ decay. When I have lost my memory

I hope to slip back into consciousness, one last time, and find myself
looking at a photograph of my mother: she will wear green velvet
and look out of a window. I will look out of her window and see

the dreams in which I tell her that I am in a relationship with my father.
She has born me and I bear nothing but the shame of his seed
within the eye of a dream. The nuclear trio is constantly imploding.

Ninety percent of Americans over the age of seventy
filter their thoughts through a molding cheese cloth
but do not think they are not making supper.

Does forgetting a statistic complement the hue of its tragedy?
Who will remember me when I have become an antecedent?
Who will remember my father’s penis when I have stopped dreaming?

The nuclear trio expels fragments.
Future generations will buy our silverware at thrift stores
and wash it twice before use because they will not remember who we were.

Published by: in Poetry, Volume 69: Issue 1

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