I don’t remember when the last survivor
of the Ludlow Massacre died. A story online
disappeared, and I don’t remember when.
I don’t remember the type of shoe
unscripted and airborne
the president ducked when visiting Baghdad.
Threads of history surround us
some thick like steel cables
some like gossamer, living tissue
Oil rises from the harbor bottom
where the bombed ship sank at its mooring
beside the memorial to lost lives.
I don’t remember the name of Cindy Sheehan’s son.
No one wants to talk about the Iraq War
and history might say why
but like Williams said you got to ask hard.
Things I don’t remember
derived from things I didn’t know
and places I’ve never seen
compounded by items
I may have read or heard
and now struggle to remember.
I think I remember pallets of cash,
billions of dollars flown to Baghdad,
early in the invasion,
wrapped with stretchy plastic
that any warehouse worker would recognize
and nylon straps to keep the piles from toppling.
And all that money
into rucksacks and suitcases and duffel bags
of officials and gangsters, conmen and hitmen.
History is written, that’s why
Bic gave us ink, after the animals
were named and nicknamed.
Writing brings history to mind
and death is a form of forgetting
surely the highest form
and much ends as flotsam in a racing tide.
If the past were stones on the ground,
bedrock outcroppings, and gradations
of mineral and gravel, how is my
by walking home at the end of the day?