March 14, 2011


So often
the setting is the home of my childhood.
The garage, full of multiplying and subtracting cats,
the yellow-and-orange-streaked linoleum of the kitchen, the lava
of my boyhood games,
the windowless den. When I picture that room,
it is only lit by the shaky glow of the television.
It is a museum alive
with memories that breathe and laugh softly,
of items and objects
long ago lost or left behind,
of things just of out sight or
off the edges of old photographs.
The characters
are so often out of place,
think Holden Caulfield
in fair Verona
or Huck Finn in Revolutionary France.
It is as if a passenger train on a time-lined track
had its cars rearranged at random,
the giants of my life, strangers to each other,
introduced and allowed
to mingle.
My lover stands with me at the cool glass of the front door,
his arms around a former version of myself.
I can smell the Windex
my mother cleaned with,
can smell the Christmas trees
from those young Decembers.
We look, together, at the neighborhood he never knew
as he holds this cloudy-eyed boy
who thinks nothing
of a lifetime condensed, strained,
the things most loved,

bryan borland (Little Rock, AR, 1979)


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