joe weil | first memory

First Memory

I remember the delicious heaviness
of an old yellow cab,
the thick green leather upholstery
cracked and torn
as if a giant moth
had hatched from it:

Now, taking this road
inwards toward morning,
waking to sorrows
like poems
worn out from reading,

I step down these cellar stairs

to a place where it’s always cool,
smelling of turpentine
and mold,
the pipes like soldiers
at Valley Forge-
wrapped in rags to keep them from

Here, in the comforting dark
the washer
rocks on its uneven floorboard,
a convulsed and
bulky tap dancer.

And I remember
coming home in the rain,
a cab’s windshield wipers
lulling me to sleep,

my eyelashes turned to stone.

[from BIG HAMMER No. 15 (which is available by clicking here…]

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