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Published: Fri Oct 15 1982
Art: Paul TheriaultEver New (detail), 2022, acrylic and found paper on scavenged wood
The Angel of Memory

In these panes, each flaw and bubble is a seed.
The porch door latch, rusted, snaps off
in my fingers. I walk down steps
carved into limestone;
scrub-brush and rosemary hang down the terraces
to the Adriatic’s crumbling foam.

And she is sitting in the untended garden,
the angel of memory, her bare back shines;
at her nape, parted hair lifts wings.
An eddying yellow butterfly perches
on her arm and presses open its double page;

I have forgotten what I came to say.
My shadow lengthens toward her, rapt,
pierced with small stones and grasses,
but she will not turn, looking out
to an old sea, a vast plateau of static.

See what's inside AGNI 17

Sharona Ben-Tov Muir is the author of The Book of Telling: Tracing the Secrets of My Father’s Lives, published by Bison Books in 2008. (updated 7/2010)

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