Blog Post / Fall 2016 / Issues / Poetry / Poetry 2016 / Volume 47

The Violence of Memory–Daniel Fitzpatrick

on Nunscape, by Leonora Carrington

Feathered devildactyl
mothers its
big blue egg.

Give me a big blue
breakfast full of food coloring,
the kind kids like
that mortifies the mother tongue.

A pteratopped column
plants one painted corner
while the sea scene flirts with fluttering off
on the gale-grey jubilant swell,
like a washed white sheet on the beach–

Prehistory surrealized
on the rich coast,
nuns (or is it sisters?) harvesting
Pacific cold-fat flailing fish,
habit-black laps hefting the huge flesh
like womb-blind babies
gasping on the crux of time.

I remembered,
turned again,
found memory muted.

The pillar roots the right and
not the left;
bird is, yes, more bird
than lizard.

I become, like me, the little boy
once more the poor paleontologist,
begging for bones.

I need to see it again
in its place at the DMA,

in the wide space on the white wall,
near Frida’s unifying eyes
and the blue window binding
bald cypresses skyrocketing squirrels
and the Nasher’s ghastly grove
of overshadowed oaks,
there in the café smells and Ukrainian tunes
cracking off Chihuly shapes
carousing up the cold white steps.

And then I will believe
and remember,
though now I know.

We leave the convent,
set habited sail,
fish for fish

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