The Archivist

By GENNA GARDINI 

The past clicks us into focus.
There’s a slid-hinge to the edit.

In this photo, your father frames you
like a fish he wants to remember—
slipped and tin, temporarily pliable,
propped on his knee.

Let’s take your brother, here,
blue-faced and stuffed, full of berries out the
bottom of the backyard, off the bramble
of his foot, rolling from the cabinet’s
carpet like a gum to its tongue,
small and sand-favoured;

his cheek still a linen chest of flesh
before he turned himself down

for girls who developed with their legs poised
stern as oars. They were his wife. Their skirts
unassailable septums, bone-walled. And their
factory-lit health, a tythe

I find myself paying,

and saying, “What’s honest is what lines it,
is the advertorial milk blanket of your insides,”

while my friends ask, “Is this how shit always is?”
and listen, and wonder, what fresh therapist
will chug the construction belt of their counsel,
tap court shoes square and cocked, to knock
the Morse code of medication, and send us
nearing ourselves, for three months, or about.

So, I smoke the scalpel of memory, instead,
and scour love in its clot, as time consults
like a ruler. And each inch knows this
is the telling. This is the business of my life:

to talk that bread out of its dripping
with the small, sauced animal of my knife.

 

 

Genna Gardini has published poetry in national and international literary journals, anthologies, and group exhibitions.

Click here to purchase Issue 04

The Archivist

Related Posts

The Hundertwasser House in Vienna

Etude No. 2 and Etude No. 3

KIM CURTS MATTHEUSSENS
in Rome a monumental marble typewriter / ticked out their story into the sky: two lovers / devour time. she lay on the lawn near Trajan's / column. he plucked letters from her dress, / her hair, served them to her by hand, by mouth.

Image of an intensely green trailhead.

December 2022 Poetry Feature: Kevin McIlvoy

KEVIN McILVOY
On mine spoil. In debris fields / of asphalt and concrete and brick. / Upon sites of chemical spills. / Along lifeless riverbanks. / In clonal groves so hardy you / have to steel yourself for years / of killing to kill one acre. / Where construction crews rake off / the surface

field spotted with red flowers

December 2022 Poetry Feature

TOMMYE BLOUNT
It feels good grazing against my skin, / all that satin and muslin—a high / thread count to tuck in / the American Dream. Embroidery / and tassels fit for men like me / who would pay a good buck / to be a part of this invisible kingdom. / Ah! This flair for pageantry / seen in a film—