First impressions are never
firsts of anything
they are built
on too much earth, I guess;
I wonder what my first
impression truly was—
in the womb?
its funny, I can’t remember
my first impression but
it impressed something,
must have, in that womb—
One writer talks of soft skulls:
wonder what got pushed on mine
to make my head so flat—
Your soft skull must have
been pushed on by all
too many ideas
I bet. Your skull
looks so perfectly
it must have been
molded a lot
I bet. I think
when I see
you I see that.
Not perfect
but a perfect
of having been
a lot.
I bet,
you do have a perfection
about you:
you are not perfect
but perfection is
about you,
dancing on your skin;
there is a certain
a smooth, tended to
about you:
you have a rough delicacy
a controlled rebellion;
Like your fingernails,
tended to with care
controlled, concerned french tips;
compared, mine are dirty
with memories
of past nail polish tracked up
all over them;
I couldn't see the memory on your fingernails
but I’m certain it was there
I bet.
Sometimes memories
are hard to speak
about, instead we just
live them, carry them,
wear them?
like a strange
new hair cut.
I bet its maybe
too obvious to say but
thats how it is. Some
memories we remember
only because we acknowledge how
they have changed us, some we forget
we are wearing.
I couldn't see the memory on your fingernails
but I’m certain it was there.
The buildings of impressions
are built on too much earth of buried
memories, too hard to speak about.
Unearthing a memory
is like digging
in the dirt:
sometimes you find
a worm,
sometimes you find
soft soil
sometimes you find
and you start pulling
and once you start
you realize how far that root
really goes
and with hands muddy
you scour the entire yard
pulling at that root
sometimes not finding
where it ends
because it breaks
under too much force and all you get are pieces
but sometimes you find
it strong and attached
and unwilling to lead you anywhere
but to its deceiving end
a dandelion bright
and a huge ugly stub
of a pale warted root
that strangled the yard
at once whole
and now
by your strange adventure
in landscaping;
and the most of what comes from this
ruined yard:
dirty fingernails:
I couldn't see the memory on your fingernails
but I’m certain it was there.
I bet,
maybe you put the dirt
in the studs of your jacket
a sweater soft and knitted
with strange metal pokings
on your shoulders.
I bet,
maybe the dirt is in the minerals
of your eye make up
perfectly sharp
and daring; confined to its pointed
I bet,
these are all first impressions
built too much
on my own soil of memory
and my flat head.
I can only know you
as I compare you to my
dirty fingernails.
Maybe that is where
you put the dirt.
Maybe you put the dirt
on me
under my fingernails
to see and hold next your skin
to realize as your dirt only after leaving
thinking of myself related to
maybe its too much to have all that
soil on your skin
instead you share it
with other people.
I know you have dug up
yards of memory
with perfectly impressed
hands and head
used to digging until smoothed.
I bet this is where the dirt
goes, its on our touches
between impression
and understanding
and unawareness.
I couldn't see the memory on your fingernails—

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