INSIDE THIS ISSUE:
A THEORY OF MEMORY
My son, now thirteen,
is fascinated with physics.
If gravity can bend Time
will memory someday hunger?
I wonder too, in choosing my work,
have I released my father's hunger
so it does not return
to control you, my son?
Someday you may theorize
Time has a shadow,
and question, is it cast
on the future or the past?
Or, from the center of some
where fathers and sons are one,
you'll postulate, the shadow falls on both.
Perhaps you'll finally prove
which weighs more--
what we owe to our parents,
or to our children.
And perhaps, if Time, in its curving,
permits, we'll take long walks
as we do now--always starting
from home and always returning--
and you'll simplify your theories
to explain them to me, and perhaps,
as I hold my grandchild's hand,
(is that a hunger?) I'll understand.
And then, as now, I'll thank my father
for his hunger, for the voice
his voraciousness gave to me,
this voice which I give to you, my son,
this voice with which we both
can choose what we sing.
And memory's craving will
be satisfied with our song.
FOUR FACTS ABOUT FLUTES
Breathing near a flute won't get her to sing.
You can huff and puff all you want--
a flute doesn't know you're alive
unless your breath makes love to her.
A flute has no way to save your breath
for her old age, or for yours.
Flutes may seem to have no ears to hear your song,
nor eyes to see your beauty,
no hands to hold you, no feet to leave you,
no womb to carry your child--
but the flute I sing with says,
I remember the whorls of your fingertips
the wetness of your licked lips, the heat of your breath.
I give birth to countless children
in the mirror of your listening heart.
There are three things a flute treasures and teaches:
her hollowness and yours, and the piercingly
brief life flowing through you both.
Laszlo Slomovits, Ann Arbor
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