Thursday, February 28, 2008

"God Forgotten" by Nick Flynn

I just finished reading Some Ether by Nick Flynn. It was a little underwhelming. Don't get me wrong, it's a good book and worth reading, but I guess it was so hyped to me that I expected more. Still, there are some really good poems in here. And what do you know, the last poem in the book, "God Forgotten," mentions monkeys.

God Forgotten

God mercifully forgets us for a few hours.

A blind woman in a folding chair
rests in the sun on the sidewalk below
& for an afternoon
doesn't think about heaven. I put my hand on yours

& say, show me, and you begin
slowly, steadily, my hand

riding yours, a spidermonkey
holding on to its mother's back, until

your fingers disappear inside

& my fingers follow. I see myself reflected
in your face, you smile & I realize
I'm smiling also. There is so much

I want to tell you. Once I spoke to my mother
through a long cardboard tube,
put one end to her sleeping ear & the other
to my mouth & whispered,

can you hear me? She was younger
then I am now, now

she will always be younger. Another hour passes, we open
the shades. Outside
a man in a wheelchair crosses his legs. You show me

a photograph, a group of children beside a '60s
stationwagon, you ask, can you find me? My fingers
tangle your hair, trace
your skull, your face so radiant

I can barely look into it.

(Nick Flynn, from Some Ether, 2000 Graywolf Press)

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