It is where she has gone. A spoon clicks
in her mouth while her eyes fall back,
& the one holding her hand is not me
or you. It is a boy, her brother, & he is afraid,
though he remembers something about pressing
a spoon to her tongue so that metal catches
the flesh, so that the tongue does not follow
the eyes into leaving a part of this world.
Years later, this boy will read he was wrong
for using a spoon. He will spend the summer
lifeguarding at a pool, & more than once, he will
hold a body while it seizes in waist-high water.
Each one returns the same way, a pause & then
their life, all they have ever known, rushing back
into the mind. Forget the boy in the beginning.
He has grown into someone who spends too much
time remembering. For this, he has already lost a part
of himself, & from those people he saved, holding
them in the sun as they came to, the color in their eyes
sharp as glass, there was a time when he thought
this could be her, a body becoming weightless.
Then a stranger cried in his arms. She didn’t
know anyone around her, especially him.
It did not matter. This is not about remembering.
Forget there was ever a spoon. Forget the sound
metal makes against the teeth & the tongue.
Forget it all & come back to your life.
“This Poetry” first appeared in 64 Magazine.