from There Have Been Some Days I Didn’t Know Your Name

The first light was Sunday
within an hour I’d gained open windows            without thinking
to forget radio and in remembering curated a new sound.

Borrowed from the archives it made sense to caution            against
mutual modes of frivolity, but having met his brethren
couldn’t feign what felt uneven in the pavement of our            clumsy
digressions. An animal out the window sounding fed and
heavy, human, I closed it.                  To closet hems and
arrange the perspective of a patterned dressmaker
the wild city. Stitched amends to the Winnebago I found
two open windows on weather for I mustn’t believe the air
there to be a candid monument as it could only
come from a memo made from overhearing machines.
I consider plain flowers ‘cause I don’t know what to ask for.

We learned to exaggerate from our mothers. My
father taught me it’s proper to drink after five and
when I lived by myself by the sea I abstained for
fear of it becoming a solitary hitch, which was now
many years ago and a body waded new forms
in order to register this particular minute of California,
with the sun and the trees,
the berries that complement the rain and
the distinct noise of kids. To think nothing
of living into cupped hands
to check dependencies in our waves of the apartment night
on Warfield: or                  it could be forgetting radio
and in the remembering curate a new sound
because I don’t know what to ask for.

It’s okay for things to be said more than once.
Like how (as a child) I went canoeing on the Charles
and that I’d say so every day in the carpool (1988).
It isn’t memoir merely to list facts as I do today.

If I didn’t say porch berries sounded also like rice
and that his honesty was northbound or
how I connected the world with three-lettered words
dashed across life’s recurring dreams, I wouldn’t be me
in the amphitheater of deciduous trees. They line up
selected like standard photographs pulled from a garden
in a monarch’s city. I’ve explained form to my friend as
a sonnet between Monday & Friday
in which to communicate the bleeding news.
I remember paper and desks but little else from
days puttering on Dolphin Road. To be a piece
of the bowl I ran into the green untied spooling, set the world
to stop at curfew, hid their names during the years love lifted
its afternoon shade, a simple song of trains. Without diagnosis
I couldn’t fret about counting there was to be done.

Amanda Nadelberg (© 2017)