Things I promised not to say
I remember his hands
then I remember the house;
although upon seeing it
for the first time I gasped, said:
it looks like a castle; not in
size but in shape, the middle section
cylindrical and new-age, and
there was a horse in the
pasture, too old to be ridden, and
she explains that you can tell the
age of a horse by the way its back
slopes into the hip, like an old women
crippled in birthing pains. And the
fence is electrifiable, and I am
warned not to touch it, though I
throw sticks at it hoping to see a
spark, but nothing comes.
I remember a man in the other
yard, riding one of those sit in
lawn mowers, and every once in
a while craning his neck to look
over at us - I turned a few times,
but mostly I was watching the way
her hair fell across her shoulders; how
her silver hair moved in the breeze.
How the mountain loomed like a
daylight moon, sharp and snow-heavy
I remember an old car in the backyard,
grown over with wild ivy, wheat grass,
and tangled sticker bushes. I remember one
of the windows was crashed in, and I remember
the haunted buzz of the hive melting into the
cut leather. I remember the bee's ignoring me
(like they always do) when I got too near.
I remember watching the honeycomb shapes
drizzle in my peripheral vision as I stared too long,
and I thought that this is what my sister must have
looked like in utero; this is what I must have
looked like once - a yellow, hairless blur deep
in someone else's eye.
I remember the mail box out on the
street as we piled into the van to leave.
I remember her saying: Do you think
we should check it, leave it on the porch?
I think now that she just wanted to see
what magazines he got, what type of letters.
Maybe wondering if he were speaking
to his Indian daughter without telling her,
or corresponding with that women in the
hospital that he wouldn't tell her about until later.
I remember my father saying that he could
not wait to leave us; or the morning that he
noticed the early calling, the numbers flashing
across the phone bill like any other type
I remember not knowing what was going
to happen to me.
I remember her asking me not to say a word;
I remember promising.