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The Shore

         for Clive Wearing

If memory has a center, let it be here.
Unless, that is, a fever takes it, the brain

a hole the size of who we were, or worse,
who we would be, who we are now, or now.

Ask the man inside his small bay window.
Not that his wife is a stranger. Far from it.

If ever she leaves his room a moment,
she returns to him as the long lost face

to a happiness he forgot he had.
And so the art of moving forward, loss

over loss in waves against the shore.
Just listen to his music, the unlikely

way it shivers through him, his language
worn to something crystal in the current.

See his eyes close as his hands begin,
a face afloat the black of his piano.

The deeper he goes, the darker the gloss,
the more sand he lets fall through the hour.

Whatever binds one measure to another,
it binds the damage the way air binds objects

in a room, until one day his wife stops,
transfixed above a sink of dishes, to say,

how strange, I was just about to do that.
A glass chimes in her hand. Then she rinses,

mindful, places it on its mouth to dry.
Each one listening for the next to speak.

Bruce Bond


Volume 61, Number 2

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