Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Henry A. Norris


Maybe the best relationships
are based on little lies.
I know you had a shop,
I know you repaired watches,
dad showed me your workbench:

a bright light up above,
below, a field of felt—
—Elysian fields, maybe—
a million little drawers
full of tiny, shiny parts

that would keep better time.
I see this all quite vividly—
down to the oil atomizer
wearing chain mail.
I told him I remembered

sharing cookies with you.
I was 2 the year you died.
I lied. It would have killed him
to hear the truth. So, I shared
cookies with my grandfather.

I think you’d understand
the great necessity of lies
in love. In art. The spring,
the perfect movement, moment,
the whole idea of time.

So, let this be our secret.
I have no memory of
your cookies or your face.
But every line I write
today contains your name.

I saw it on your workbench.
There it shall remain.

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