Of course you’ve a story, kicked down the hall; terrible thing, a trip to Taco
Bell, where an ocean spills past the drive-thru window. Police lights waltz

skyward, contrarily,
because we circle down from them. The roots of the oak trees re-route; small

voltages, bright groundwater (icicles stuffed into an elephant’s mouth), an
exclusion of mind hanging in the sunshine like a vestigial landscape wiped clean

of euphoria . . .
Everyone’s face reminds me of a buried city, cars up on blocks leaning through

the slanted light (like jail cells), especially after shaking somebody’s hand.
Gusts of blood cup the back of each eyeball as it un-sees us. Remember the

flaming moon?
But the woman who says this recedes into darkness and moss. We

keep walking. Other peoples’ waking, on paper, ruins the romance. We live, and this
becomes clear to me, boarding up my office. We can’t help it. We can’t help becoming

a record
of somebody’s witness (“deer flies had at her body”), perhaps passed around

like a virus, from person to person, until no one remembers. No one can
state it as such. No memory is graven. Retroactively, we are currently not happening.


Author Image

David Dodd Lee‘s most recent book is The Coldest Winter on Earth (Marick Press, 2012). His ninth book, forthcoming from Four Way Books, is entitled Animalities, and will appear in 2014. His other books include Sky Booths in the Breath Somewhere, The Ashbery Erasure Poems (BlazeVox, 2010). He has published recent work in The Nation, Diagram, Superstition Review, Chattahoochee Review, and Field. He is Editor-in-Chief of 42 Miles Press, and lives near Elkhart, Indiana. He teaches visual art and the art of poetry writing at Indiana University South Bend.

Image via Shutterstock

At Guernica, we’ve spent the last 15 years producing uncompromising journalism. 

More than 80% of our finances come from readers like you. And we’re constantly working to produce a magazine that deserves you—a magazine that is a platform for ideas fostering justice, equality, and civic action.

If you value Guernica’s role in this era of obfuscation, please donate.

Help us stay in the fight by giving here.