Dream of Two Memories
Think back to the tree-huddle,
dad was there and the cicadas sounded like
rust. The elm light was watery.
blueish at dark and leading out
to a dark earth. Earth also recalls.
Remember that handful of
in a late April
You waited at the foot of the mind's ladder.
Sound of the sparrow flocks
and a blue gloomy cloud-cover.
You're eight and you stumble through cloudfall.
Years later lined up at the
you brought the wrong key
and a black thread was spun.
Night after night, a rush of
smoke ‒‒ that entire life is gone.
Gone is the first thing you remember.
Furnace light or stained light
or the moments after a Chopin nocturne
in flying minors . . . a continuum’s
Even our faithless make a constant prayer,
like distant notes,
and the vast spaces between them.
We believe in a fabric of numbers,
but at sundown we kneel and
bow our heads‒‒
It’s the ways we’re brought through pitilessness.
We don’t reach very far,
but something in us is like those high,
empty choir lofts
and dusky stained glass . . .
is a muteness.
Alexander Etheridge has been developing his poems and translations since 1998. His poems have been featured in Wilderness House Literary Review, Ink Sac, Cerasus Journal, The Cafe Review, The Madrigal, Abridged Magazine, Susurrus Magazine, The Journal, and many others. He was the winner of the Struck Match Poetry Prize in 1999.