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Summertime, and Mirror Memory

From: New England Review
Volume 34, Number 1, 2013
pp. 32-34 | 10.1353/ner.2013.0029

In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:


Jacksonville, Florida

I tell her I’ve seen a hawk
beak a pigeon cold
on a branch by the Wells Fargo,
a bile she-cat
take a squirrel in Hemming Plaza.


I tell her, than us,
hunger is patient
as the dogwood stone
smooth as an axe handle
for the starved Confederate dead,

the river’s belt-narrow bend.
And it’s all a long weeding,
I tell her. She doesn’t answer,
eyes blue as blue shadows,
blue as the manicured grass

we hunt

for my gold ring, a fight
about money, what else,
her purse-flashlight bright
only in night so much darker,
so dim it seems distant, a promise,

light waiting for itself.
I tell her its beam shines
like milk after hard fast,
a debt forgiven, if unpaid.
Shut up, she says, and keep


And it’s all a long weeding,
I say, the only answer
a snap of flag on air
on July fire male voice
from the Plaza Jewelers’ angled


I’ve been drinking razor soup,
it says to two men wearing
bedrolls like life-preservers.
We’re going down, one says,
to the Kings Street shelter.

And I feel above us its specter,
eagle talons chill,
feathers like eye-teeth,
horned head sneering.
It will pick them clean,

our bones.

I see its shadow fall slant
on your nose, itself
slant on your small skull,
so beautiful, so much blood
keeping our skulls beautiful.

I hate it when I get like this.
I hate you can see it.
When life tells you something,
I say, believe it.
I do, you say, and keep


Mirror Memory

The sky remembers neither cloud nor bird,
but it doesn’t forget. Dust doesn’t forget
mud, nor mud dust. Salt doesn’t forget

even dissolved in so much ocean,
its grains ghostly but material,
articles of faith yet to be disproven.

This may be why, if air-dried
after a sea-swim, my hands flash
and my chest floods with scales,

my body a reflection, salt’s chance
to crystallize memory. But I am the one
who recalls remembrance

is skin-deep, a veiled mirror,
who still knows I forget nothing
unless I remember I’ve forgotten.

Andres Rojas  

Andres Rojas came to the U.S. from Cuba at age thirteen. He holds an M.F.A. and a J.D. from the University of Florida and currently works for the U.S. Department of the Treasury. His poetry has previously appeared in New England Review and has been featured or is forthcoming in Barrow Street, Cossack Review, Massachusetts Review, and other journals.

Copyright © 2013 Middlebury College Publications
Project MUSE® - View Citation
Andres Rojas. "Summertime, and Mirror Memory." New England Review 34.1 (2013): 32-34. Project MUSE. Web. 8 Jul. 2013. <http://muse.jhu.edu/>.
Rojas, A.(2013). Summertime, and Mirror Memory. New England Review 34(1), 32-34. Middlebury College. Retrieved July 8, 2013, from Project MUSE database.
Andres Rojas. "Summertime, and Mirror Memory." New England Review 34, no. 1 (2013): 32-34. http://muse.jhu.edu/ (accessed July 8, 2013).
T1 - Summertime, and Mirror Memory
A1 - Andres Rojas
JF - New England Review
VL - 34
IS - 1
SP - 32
EP - 34
PY - 2013
PB - Middlebury College
SN - 2161-9131
UR - http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/new_england_review/v034/34.1.rojas.html
N1 - Volume 34, Number 1, 2013
ER -


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