what to remember

remember not that you argued
with your sister, but that you sang
in the kitchen alone,
and the house remembered
a sound it had not heard in years.
remember fireflies blinking
slowly in the roadside dark
and a night sky as open
as the Arizona night sky –
remember, on the last night, every star
in the heavens shone on that place.
a comet streaked to the east
bright as a firecracker, potent, silent.
remember the vine that entered the door
and the softness of your father’s voice
and the way his eyes lit up
every time he looked up and saw you there.
remember his pleasure, and his pride.
the way the creek sank when the rain stopped,
the six-part insect harmony every night,
and his hand on your shoulder,
blessing you. remember
his hands when he talks,
his big, precise gestures,
his carefully kept and yellowing fingernails.
the black trees in silhouette
against a star-strewn horizon.
his voice, retelling
the story of your birth – when the nurse
handed you to me, i felt a love
i had never known before.
and it has never stopped.

the scent of honeysuckle,
a redolent night,
that infinite sky.
it has never stopped.

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