Greenwood Encyclopedia of African American Literature

Monday, February 16, 2015

"Memory Unit"

In the Memory Unit, we speak
euphemistically. We
watch the very old and almost
mindless sit or lie like reptiles
that are waiting for the warmth
to come back. These wait
for the memory-sun
to unset itself.

Our uncle is among them here.
What are we supposed to say
to the past, which is absent?
What are we supposed to do
with our rage and embarrassment
before this scandal, this
crucifixion of identity?

We keep our visits short,
is what we do. For a while,
in our conveyance later, we
are as quiet as the Memory Unit.
Then someone speaks. We understand.
We speak back. We're understood.

hans ostrom 2015




Post a Comment