• The past folds like linen
  • layered with smells of pollen,
  • sunlight, dust in drawers, dark caves.
  • You can't remember where
  • you've seen this town before.
  • Déjà vu, or time
  • silting in your brain.
  • You slow to a thought
  • in front of the courthouse:
  • this may as well have been home.
  • Flags hang limp from their poles
  • like sheets forgotten on the line in rain.
  • Old men convene on porches
  • to preside with mercuric eyes.
  • They poison you.
  • You can remember him
  • bringing in the sheets
  • from the rain,
  • being dusty like this town,
  • dry and gray but good
  • with hands, a carpenter.
  • You pay for premium
  • at the single station, ask
  • for the freeway.
  • An ageless attendant points
  • the way, gauges distance,
  • and waves in your dust.

The New Press Literary Quarterly
Spring 1995