Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Sweeten my body

San Juan Island, Washington

This is how memory works.

I'm driving to the airport with my teenaged son who is traveling alone across the country. I'm listening to Dire Straits, but it's random because I don't own any Dire Straits, and the hills are brown on either side of me and the sky is stretching out, seeped in haze. I am driving then to a drugstore on the other end of a country road where I live on the top floor of a farmhouse with a boy I love. Loved. Still love. Still loved. Which is it, was it? I climb up stairs to reach my apartment, up the stairs and past the couple studying Derrida, the man and woman who make love so loudly that I and the boy I love wonder what it is because, let's face it, deconstruction. He lies down sometimes, to make me laugh, his ear pressed to the floor, his mouth wide, eyes green.

Years before, a single bed, a scrap of paper left on a pillow, spidery writing: In the Carolinas, the white iris beautifies me. 

Now it's a memory of a memory, but that is how memory works. Dire Straits. A country road. A drugstore. Cough syrup. Coupling. The howling of love.

And this:

In the Carolinas

The lilacs wither in the Carolinas.
Already the butterflies flutter above the cabins.
Already the new-born children interpret love
In the voices of mothers.

Timeless mothers,
How is it that your aspic nipples
For once vent honey?

The pine-tree sweetens my body
The white iris beautifies me.

Wallace Stevens


  1. Gorgeous and haunting. Another life. The sweet ache of memory. Thank you.

  2. You nudge a memory of times past for me. Weren't we - aren't we - lucky women?

  3. I think the south is a place where dream memories (or are they memory dreams?) arise like kudzu. You can't stop them or stifle them any more than you can stop or stifle the sounds of love.
    What a beautiful post.

  4. This is the most incredible thing I've ever read. It's amazing to witness what is going on with you lately.

  5. Wow, Elizabeth. Wow. xxoo B.

  6. Your writing is gorgeous. So are you.



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