11.28.2012

There is Only Experience and Its Decay

Go ahead, break me
        down, test me until
       you’re satisfied. I want to believe

I’m constant again. I want to be split
in two, understood in parts and put back
together on an unfamiliar bed,

in an unfamiliar and seasonless city
        that may as well be foreign country—
        alphabet of photographs, language as film strip—

where there are hills that stretch flatland
feet toward sunset. It’s a riddle
to make me remember pitch or attitude

but I made out the moon, the brightness,
        the blue of the experience in question,
        from behind an east-facing wall of glass.

So, toss me west then not speak.
If you want to keep me, bend me,
put your hand on my back. I’d crawl,

even beg with enthusiasm. Just ask.
What is it you can own
        without practice and observation?

There are four directions, winded and without
initials, because I want to enamel every part you.
First, with stings, then with excessive love.

Because I have only just re-learned what it means to want
and there’s not enough to regret yet.
Your memory should terrify me.

This poem’s title comes from an exhibit at the Museum of Jurassic Technology.

Melissa Severin (© 2012)