As I watch the Mountain of Memories-
pushed ever upward
by the grinding groaning grinding
of monumental drift—
the “I” that
seems dwarfed by
the “I” that was.
Dwarfed by its grandeur.
one inch per day.
Per one inch day.
So there I stand,
at the foot of that Mountain of Memories:
small and smaller,
Now a dog.
Now a cat.
Now a mouse.
Scuttling and shrinking in its shadow
and still shrinking.
I am fading away away away.
Soon there will be nothing left.
The Earth Quake
But the photographs were not straight. They hung lopsided as if it made no difference. Their angles were at ones and twos. But I tried to make them right. Like that, you see, they made the walls sad. And it was as if they were thumbing their black and white noses at gravity.
One day, in a sunny place far from the living room far from the depressed walls far from the leaning photos, I was busy.
In only one five-hundredth of a second a memory got in and could not get out. I would add the memory to the others. I knew it would tip over to one sides or the other. I knew it would make my living room even more untidy.
The smell of chemicals reminded me of love. The red paper grew a red image and reminded me of love. The face smiled up from its liquid womb and reminded me of love. I turned on the light. I was in love.
“Hello. It's me. I just printed one of the pictures. It looks really good. You look really good.”
But I like them big. The frame made the memory stay put. It meant no beginning and no end. But the nail was waiting. I hung the photo of the sunny memory and I hung it straight. I looked around and saw something strange.
All the other pictures had lost their lopsided dispositions.
All the other pictures were hanging straight.
It was wonderful. But then I noticed: the walls themselves were leaning over, tipsy and turvey and ready to fall.