He remembers everything,
Even the good stuff.
The gray veined wood of the porch.
The bright sun on the summer leaves.
He remembers the pine straw and the stone BBQ
And the old woman in the chair outside her trailer
Sitting under the shadow of the oak saying,
“Slap the skeeters quick if you don’t want the sleepin’ sickness.”
He remembers the sweet bellies, and the ghosts
Dropping into his body, and the dogs in cages
Hosed down before night came.
He remembers less the present,
The years that flow like the clothes pulled
From his father’s back with the bees.
The honeysuckle on the playground fence.
The teachers striking. The slide, the moon,
And his grandfather’s stories,
How he counted the planes leaving in the morning,
Counted the planes coming back at night.
He remembers the moving line described over peanuts.
The feel of the carpet pile, slick against his feet,
And the cruel bite of the loose screw in the floor vent.