George Freek The 2River View, 9.3 (Spring 2005)
The Persistence of Memory

The sun is a clock,
and so is the moon.
But what about the galaxy,
the universe? Meanwhile, frenzied
ladies in diaphanous gowns
dance with lizards
in a sunless desert,
where a skeletal hand,
rising from the cold sands,
sways like a pendulum.
I can remember my father,
dying, feverish,
on the edge of a coma,
constantly repeating
the name of his first wife,
dead more than forty years.
And I still remember
the ancient cleaning woman
on her knees in the vestibule,
spilling ammonia,
and the reek of disinfectant
filled the room, choking me
with its taste of wet ashes,
burning my nostrils,
stinging my eyes.

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