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Secrets
by Jessica Harman

Where

 

I am from the ugly lime green carpet and the bad taste of beer.
I am from the curling pot smoke mesmerizing the shadows in the room.
I am from the scent of that dusty smoke

burning my windowpane into gray and orchid. I am from the city of clouds.
I am from the murmuring of urban crickets under fire hydrants.

I am from the chocolate Easter egg hunt-the hardest kind-when the eggs
are hidden in obvious places, on top of the silver picture frame of the Audubon print.

I am from the salty taste in the bird's mouth as he dips into the Chesapeake Bay.

I am from a rags-to-riches story. I am from the new strict table manners that became my
life full of new instructions.

I am from a new house full of antiques glowing chestnut and cherry wood, just polished
by the cleaning lady, who left a silence hovering about the house when she left.

I am from the fog lifting over the city so that we all knew we were on an island and a
dormant volcano. The slumbering earth made fog

echo with more dark silver, as if it was breathing quietly, in R.E.M.

I return to the sound of the record player scratching its needle in a parody of silence
as it filled the room with static. I was in a city that could never be

silent, though sometimes it fell silent as it rejoiced in the small sounds of birds.

I return proudly to my attempts at meditation, when I lit a candle and tried to think
of nothing. You said to imagine my thoughts on a distant sun.

I return to my face in the mirror, beginning
to like the change, though society wouldn't think so. I look tired, more and more so.
I feel I am moving on, deeper into the blue that builds up voice.

I feel I am beginning to know what the word "where" means.

 

Copyright 2008 by Jessica Harman


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