Jon Pineda

Losing A Memory

After watching a woman’s fingers sink into bread
                         and scatter its pieces over a river,


I have tried to remember how water held part
of an evening sun, itself held back by a shadow of spires


on the hill, gently tapping along the Vltava until
swans disrupted the water.


                         It was almost communion,


and yet this thought of almost being something slowly passed
as the swans bundled together, diving one after the other.


Earlier, I thought I saw her in the crowd
rising out of the metro stop at Staromestska,


her eyes opening the way each umbrella spread
                         with rain ending in the street.


It was only the way those strangers disappeared,
huddled and turning into alleyways, sound.


                         A horn made me realize


I was standing too close to the curb.
The driver screamed in his language as he passed,


shaking his fist into a subsiding fury.
I have forgotten or remembered.


Whenever I think of death, her absence becomes a sheath
of wings disappearing into a dark body, or a candle wick


giving into its own weight and slipping beneath a surface
that will harden, maybe to be re-lit tomorrow night,


adding its light to the shadowy room of a café
where a woman reads aloud from a book she has written,


                                             poem after poem,
about love.


“Losing A Memory” first appeared in Hayden’s Ferry Review.