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Recording

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The first person in recorded history
struck by a comet slept on her couch
across the road from the Comet Drive-In
 
and the comet found her roof, her sadness, her knee,
and woke her. Everything that hurts
 
hurt before, she said. Showing at the drive-in, a documentary
on tightrope-walking: a young man frustrated
that his dream, the World Trade Center, was not yet built
 
so he practiced for years in a meadow crossing intended sky, intent
like a pillowcase sweetening him, no harm . . . Here
 
let the towers go, let them write his crossing, cursive, back and forth
 
his name steadying our tongues . . . Famous, overcoat
floating down without him, the idea that we stand
 
where we mean to stand, 1974, a distraction
 
from my parents’ morning commute. At 59th Street they split.
The poems I was writing were no longer poems of their divorce,
 
my father’s sweeping gestures or his pain, the old Volkswagen
and garden hose—all of that had washed from my poems
 
and instead an imaginary family arrived in borrowed gardens,
their son stillborn—even as I grew heavy with my own son
I wrote poem after poem holding this imagined horror close.


Megan Snyder-Camp, “Recording” from The Forest of Sure Things. Copyright © 2010 by Megan Snyder-Camp. Reprinted by permission of Tupelo Press.
Source: The Forest of Sure Things (Tupelo Press, 2010)
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Recording

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