if i remember badly enough
i’m convinced i was happy:
a broken mind may conceive of the river highway
cars flapping, thrusting through or
occasionally flashing a toothy fist
like salmon dancing through running water;
and gentle music was playing—
i had nearly slept through
the chaotic mashing of rock and roll
or country’s killer twang
like rust-coated nostalgia.
if i force in sense and taste and
smile, i might forget about
and then i would forget about what
was buried in there
but i can’t do these things
so i remember it as music:
my mother’s frown unfurling like an inky treble clef;
or else the longevity of the cars—
in this, they were fermatas;
or the smashing, slimy chorus
as my troubles unfurled
after the highway, and i slept
and i watched the screens
and i thought the screen might give me a mind
so as to distract me from the horrors
but instead i was stuck on a
long velvet highway
waterfall of the moon
and everything around me
was a curling fermata.
why did i prolong it?
this is sort of about a spring break i once had where i was driving with my mom. i was recently remembering it in a nostalgic sort of sense, but i had forgotten about how horribly depressed i had become on that trip.
for those of you who don’t know, a fermata is an expressive mark in music used above a note, usually at the end of a phrase, that can be held out for as long as the musician wishes. it’s kind of a metaphor.