In the hidden corridors of the mind, a trickle.
What do I almost remember? Asilver perch on a line?
No, not that, I saw that when I was ten.
Some phrase I missed in Ecclesiastes, a flash of silver?
No, not that either. I was writing in Andrew’s house,
on the big wooden table, motes in the air,
Toronto light, a big plain room, my hand
moving over a sheet of paper, a Greek book
nearby, Euripides, ‘nothing so foul it isn’t
washed clean by the sea,’ curtains blowing in the breeze,
a poem about you spreading out over the page
like foam of the Aegean over sand, a trickle.
Was it ‘no, I don’t want to be born?’ just before I was?
No, that I clearly remember. ‘Let’s keep talking,
I don’t have to go home yet’ (you, that first afternoon)?
No, I knew as the foam ran past my fingers
that that’s what I’d heard that had made me
decide not to come out stillborn.
Your last words ‘you were kind and competent
and that’s what counts’? No, none of these remembereds,
though they flash at a distance. ‘In whose mind, then,
the trickle?’ Ah, the better question.