Sheila E. Murphy

6. I Remember Punctuation’s Being My Sole Nest

I remember aptitude belonging to another en route to the clean island.

I remember the contralto voice made ashen against a colder sand.

I remember fauns before the flowers shepherded their peace.

I remember being heard not comprehended.

I remember picturing her wearing white and what white means.

I remember letting go of cool surrender.

I remember purview and its quake.

I remember punctuation’s being my sole nest.

I remember the magnetic eyes the church of them that beamed down on my breathing.

I remember the relief from palpability in favor of the pure.

I remember corners with no fences.

I remember permanence as constant second person.

I remember oak leaves as perfume.

I remember our July as fixture and my quiet place.

I remember a dry heat as the rendition of perfection I embrace.

I remember windows open to the nights of Caledonia.

I remember window shopping for a saint.

I remember lifting adages to rescue them from living between sizes.

I remember weighing forty pounds and trying to be actual.

I remember aspiration as a furtive search for nest.

I remember coming home to winter as a broken blossom.

I remember the blue edges of faith repurposed into love.

A Process Note:
Hi Eileen, I read through your piece several times. My first thought was to mirror the length so as to create a balance, since the ideas of forgetting and remembering would ideally be mutually supportive. I consciously looked at some of the natural imagery that your poem offered, and found some complementary aspects that had meaning for me. For example, the island as idea, the path/direction as the same, the mixture of concepts and palpable experience, and the like.

I did not go line by line; rather, I moved by concept and field, so that I could position a meld of experience and idea as they seemed to fit in a piece about re-membering the psyche with elements that needed to be touched upon and revived.

I allowed your piece to be a kind of foundation from which I took holistic liberty in picking up bits that would be offered new life, having been "away" for a while (Guam for work and San Diego for a wedding). Thus, remembering.

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