The Secret to Remembering
You hold it in music, but you’re growing
deaf in your left ear and I imagine lilacs
bursting your eardrum, their purple plume
smell, their pulse, falling away from flower
to captured water, your ear holding the ebb
of perpetual ocean like a seashell.
But in me,
it won’t stay static, and swims
from belly to throat, reaches
behind the eyes where like a child,
lost or drowning, it floats, hoping
for rescue, for a reminder, something
more tangible, more held than night,
with its citrus tinge of lemon pepper
and sea salt, more audible than its violent,
split-by-violet, seething sky.
Recall that rain.
Where did you hide it? Its sonic
boom on the skylight, the way it tried
to touch us, the way you couldn’t tell
one drop apart from another, and the way
my voice turned to weather on your hands.
Julia Kolchinsky Dasbach emigrated as a Jewish refugee from Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine in 1993. She holds an MFA in Poetry from the University of Oregon and is in the University of Pennsylvania’s Comparative Literature Ph.D. program. Julia’s poetry has appeared in or is forthcoming from Southern Humanities Review, Green Mountains Review, Tupelo Quarterly, Guernica, and Nashville Review, among others journals. Her manuscript, The Bear Who Ate the Stars, won of Split Lip Magazine‘s Uppercut Chapbook Award, and can be purchased from Split Lip Press. Most recently, she won Burlington Book Festival Short Works Writing Contest and Spark: A Creative Anthology’s writing contest. Julia is also the Editor-in-Chief of Construction Magazine. Find out more by visiting her website.
Jennifer Jackson Berry is the author of the chapbooks When I Was a Girl (Sundress Publications) and Nothing But Candy (Liquid Paper Press). Recent poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Booth, The Emerson Review, Harpur Palate, Moon City Review, Stirring, and Whiskey Island, among others. She lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.