LATE IN COMING

My favorite part of email

Is ‘History,’ in knowing where

It’s been, in picking back

Selectively through the litany

Of stops and whims, the way

That dreams themselves can

Arbitrarily pick a moment,

Skipping fifty years like that,

To create a room, the dread,

The guilt of waking in my childhood bed,

The sheets and walls and doors

So real even now,

If suspiciously more spacious,

Like roofless movie sets

Through which a camera travels

In a trance, never bumping into chairs

Or tumbling down those misplaced stairs,

But focusing, with the perfect memory

Of film, on the scared and startled

Half-lit heart, pulling back the covers

To reveal, in a sudden click of time,

The assembled thrills of childhood, house,

And baby mind, complete with distant parents.

Morning cold, the fear of school, the wound

Of my isolated wing, terror breathing

On the roof outside and, somehow, empty

Moonlight falling everywhere

But on the door, where the whole long house

Is airbrushed out, and even memory won’t go.