Against Mnemosyne by Ruth Foley

Against Mnemosyne

Today, I’m choosing chaos—each
circle of the fan becomes a new
surprise, each feeling of surprise
a new emotion bubbling from
the spring. Each blink will bring
a new spring, a new season of
forgetting and discovery. Each
blink is new, each eyelash,
every dark flash an awakening.
The bird—I will not know it
is a bird, or what flight is, or
landing, or recognize the branch
or that it is a branch or a maple—
can have a new song with every
breath. Its unnamed flutter
can match my magic blood.
The cars will not be cars, the
highways will not point anywhere.
I will gladly lose my direction,
not turn myself to where you
are lying, not think about what
time it is there or how you slowly
peeled yourself away from time,
sleeping in the morning, sending
messages all night across mountains
you would never see again: I miss
you. I remember. I miss you.


(This poem first appeared in Third Wednesday.)

Ruth Foley lives in Massachusetts, where she teaches English for Wheaton College. Her work appears in numerous web and print journals, including Antiphon, The Bellingham Review, The Louisville Review, and Sou’wester. Her chapbook Dear Turquoise is available from Dancing Girl Press. She serves as Managing Editor for Cider Press Review. 

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