The Stillness of Human Recollection • Suzanne Rindell

Everyone knows the picture of perfection
is lined with a thick layer
of blank ivory snow, and no sound.
Yet the textbooks say the white color
of snow is nothing but a series of reflections.
So this is my autopsy of transparency,
made flat under the knife.
For a time I was under the impression
that to write a poem, one’s heart was required
to be wrung and hemorrhaging,
clamped in a vice, blood running like
tears, or, in the least, other bodily fluids.
All the gore of an adolescent’s
prized wound. But instead,
I find the pacific relief of small truths
rising from winter’s quiet solitude like tiny bumps of Braille.
I think of your arrival and how tidy it was,
the single weathered suitcase whose contents
you dispatched in the quartered length of a single hour.
There is something pristine about this memory as
I seep in this vacuum of absent space and sound,
it is as if I am a forgotten teabag,
surrounded by ribbons of burgundy ink.
Like all things liquid, they’ll swirl and dissipate,
I know, but only if I move.