On the metro we are silent and not, my mother and I. Window down, the damp air grins as we wind towards something violent, all those sick hedges, the roses trimmed. The guard asks me if I have a problem and my mother is uncomfortable, but I am only footsteps. Later she laughs, as if this strange gravel driveway were not a vast wound.
At Petit Trianon she takes a photograph in front of a window and I hardly smile, that blue scarf wrapped over my shoulders, head inclined towards my reflection in the glass, where I am a ghost under milk clouds.
This is a metaphor for something I have lost, but I cannot tell if I am the ghost of myself sitting on that train, or the ghost of myself looking at the picture, printed, framed on the piano; or
the ghost of myself remembering now.
I am not on the train, I am not at the window.
This room turns on like a lightbulb, and somewhere on this side of the canal a motor is jawing a heavy, obscene pulse, just a hair off from my own. As if we were two notes pitched at similar frequencies,
which flutter against each other, abusive, ajar.
As when habitually still air suddenly thrums through a window just cracked--beating, it’s called.
As if displeasure were not enough.
This is how it happened: my father stood in the kitchen at midnight. I did not see him until I opened the fridge and light spilled out, sliding over counters, illuminating his dark hush as he sent me back to bed. I told no one because maybe it wasn’t true, although I wondered who he might have been meeting there in that ocean of strange, beating night. What I mean is that some memories turn tirelessly with the moon, some memories will not drown. When I ran from the waves in my small dreams I did not stop to study the pattern of the sand. Or, if I did, perhaps I only found the imprint of a hundred empty kitchens, handing their transgressions to the night.
-- Ellene Glenn Moore is a poet living in sunny South Florida, where she is an MFA candidate at Florida International University. She is the recipient of a John S. and James L. Knight Foundation Fellowship in Poetry and was a 2014/15 Artist-in-Residence at The Studios of Key West. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Best New Poets, Salamander, Caliban, Brevity, Ninth Letter, and elsewhere. Find her at elleneglennmoore.com