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Remembering How



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Xiao

serious at least all of the time
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This is a poem I wrote in three parts, part of my final portfolio for a poetry class during my sophomore year of college. Its a bit more surreal than the stuff I usually like. Tell me what you think!


Remembering How

I.

My father sits
alone,
regards a bottle of wine.
Cabernet sauvignon.
1973

Sauvignon.
Sauvage.
Savage
thoughts plague.

1973—
His mother's hair
spills
over the side
of a worn armchair,
an arm and five fingers
sink,
muscle-less,
towards the floor
while sun-weathered hands
pull black grapes
from drying vines
in Rioja.

My father sits
alone,
thumbs the edge
of the peeling label,
remembers his mother's hand.

She wept,
but the Rioja winds
were louder.



II.

A bare lightbulb
sputters, startling and immediate,
insects' wings
behind an ear,
in a hallway narrow
enough to suffocate.
Flashes of broken wine bottles
cabernet sauvignon, blackened,
thickened by the dust of Detroit,
flicker in and out of the black.

My father crawls
down this hallway
because he must.
Glass carves
his palms, fingerbones, kneecaps,
until the only way to tell
wine from blood
is taste.

He dresses his gashes
with peeling maps,
drafts of poems,
old letters,
wallpaper that weeps
off the walls
as he crawls.

He crawls
until he remembers
how to pray.







III.

Our house is on fire, and

my father sits
alone,
and holds
a cigarette
between
his lips,
which are curled over
tired teeth.

Our house is on fire, but

I watch
his empty eyes
lock onto his hands
which fidget
with his cigarette pack.

A wine bottle
hosts a molten reflection
of dancing flames.
Wallpaper burns
and curls off the walls,
and curtains disappear
behind smoke, but

if my father doesn't move
then I must be safe too.

He hands me a cigarette.
We light them with
the burning minute hand
of the grandfather clock.
 

Reverie

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I really, really like this poem. The description is so vivid~
 

Xiao

serious at least all of the time
Joined
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Thanks :D

Before that I had problems with not having enough grounding imagery so I've been trying to fix it.
 
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