Mother of Memory
In the dark, when it is silent as underwater,
I can hear bells ringing, knowing it is impossible.
But I lie there listening and wonder if it is you, a sign
of your return. I feel in my heart a tenderness and think
if I am just quiet enough you might appear
and tell me another story from your life before me
(about the schoolgirls who feared Madame
or when you went swimming in the dark
with women you loved
or rode a motorcycle through Barcelona, sipping gin).
You would remind me of our old joy:
peeling oranges in the yard, napping beside the plum tree.
These days I am a student of desire, not of divinity,
and my only true virtue is constancy:
the weather keeps shifting. I keep wanting.
The mother of memory must also be the mother
of sound, the mother of my muse:
Come back, I say, my impossible bell.
Mother of Anxiety
There are days each hour is a difficult swallow.
This hour I have wondered about a word that means until-ness,
a perpetual waiting like I am always waiting
for you. You who are my whole anxiety.
I look through the trees each hour
to see if it is you or not, that figure in the forest coming nearer.