Poetry 2014 / Volume 45

Memoir — John Sibley Williams

And even this is not about me.

Not the lightning-struck boy
that melted from mountain
into river and emptied
eventually into open sea,

not the absent siblings he drew
in the margins of notebooks
to resemble the heroes and demons
he feared battling himself,

not love’s fluid arc
from unquenchable fire
to empty language
and back again
until the embers
never cooled or fully
shattered night,

not the moment his name
emigrated to memory
or the fragments of storms
needed to rebuild a house
or the hubristic words
that bowed outward
toward meaning,

not even this sinuous river
straightening into a life.



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