That I can’t recall my first glimpse of my mother:
Alien-eyed, wrapped in alien cloth, how could
I? Once she held me she just was my mother.
That’s just how it goes. This is just one of many
Beautiful moments I’ve been a part of but can’t
(And won’t ever) remember. That’s just life, I guess.
The void. That’s just a part of life: some hidden cave
Sunk deep in the mind and built for Beautiful But
Can’t Remember. I saw it once: here dissolving,
There reassembling like gleaned second-long seasons.
And for what reason? I just don't know. Years asking
Myself, Why? Why can we not remember this? passed.
Are we here because the mere dust of stars torched
In the throat of an equation? It’s a cold thought,
I know. But belief feels much brighter in the cold,
Brighter as the first idea flares and reverses
Like the first new motion of that first majestic
Ocean as it discovered impregnable ground.
This poem appeared in the May 10, 2012 issue of the magazine.
Rowan Ricardo Phillips is the author of The Ground (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2012). His second book, Heaven, will be published by FSG in 2015. He is the recipient of the 2013 PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award and a 2013 Whiting Writers’ Award.