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     "Lord, keep my memory green."
     --Charles Dickens

We agreed over lunch --
a meal of tight clams and sagging chins
to return to that hill --
where views rubbed Vaseline on wounds.
Your garden shears still out 
and splayed beside a shrub, 
both orange from a rusty rain.
Their scissor blades 
were women's thighs roped down 
by rapists some would call 
the ordinary pose of fate.
The sand was too soft for my feet.

Someone else's station wagon 
lined the drive; these memories 
were black gangrene 
a bottle tried to amputate,
but only seemed to multiply.
I heard you say, "Don't drink
to drown the bobbing ghost."
The ocean sat just yards away.
"A school of depth," you always quipped.
"Dew just means the world sweats."

I pitched your photo in the waves,
watched four corners disappear.
An open sea massaged us both. 
I miss your hands.
Prongs they were for books and pies, 
without large jewels to weigh them down. 
Your tongue flew South
where sugarcane corrected salt.
This was "Taps" without a horn.
A castle crushed but still recalled
in stains of moss, their emerald shades
the balm on rock on avalanche.

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