of, The Memory


by Jad Josey


She cradled the box of shoes

(a gift for her mother)

Thin tissue paper flapping in the offshore breeze

 

a brown gull, a wedge of egret, a race of clouds above

 

And the late-winter sun touched her face

In that short-breath, heart-pulse way

While I promised myself I would always remember.

 

But the truth

is that I will (likely, probably, most assuredly) not remember

Or the memory will be different than the way we

Hope to think about memory.

 

In that moment—

 

While the light strafed her face,

While she wore thin shadow-strands of hair across her cheeks,

And behind her smile

(behind the mirror of her mother’s white teeth)

The sea moved and moved

Beyond memory, beyond what memory ever hopes to be

 

—in that moment, the shoes were new

And the light was not

 

And I promised myself I would remember,

Promised to forgive myself

the forgetting.


 

Jad Josey resides on the central coast of California. When he isn’t writing, he spends as much time in the ocean as possible. His work has appeared in Glimmer Train, Passages North, CutBank, Little Fiction, Pithead Chapel, and elsewhere. Read more of his work at http://www.jadjosey.com or reach out on Twitter @jadjosey.