Country Music
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Eileen R. Tabios



I Forgot the Language of Scars

I forgot releasing breath to describe milk transformed by your scent.

I forgot the taste of your mouth was song of licorice.

I forgot a snowfall of daisies whose mottles under moonlight twinkled like a saddhu’s eyes.

I forgot to be human is to be forgiven.

I forgot part of mortality’s significance is that wars end.

I forgot the pillow still shielding a stray tooth because someone believed in a fairy tale.

I forgot that if you call an island “Isla Mujeres,” half of the population will be anguished.

I forgot the damp eyes were mine.

I forgot the charm bracelet that required only one charm.

I forgot the tea leaves I brought back from a tiny stall in Kathmandu.

I forgot saying things I’d never said before.

I forgot the boy grinning as he folded silver foil into an eagle.

I forgot the starving Arab boy who wove a rug now hanging above the Spanish Queen’s bed.

I forgot that, sometimes, the world should be veiled.

I forgot popcorn spilt on the floor of a darkened movie theater—when butter gleamed, the dispensable became nuggets of gold.

I forgot dew lingering on a carnation corsage left on a bench.

I forgot the “Ideal Violet” whose petals blush during the lemonade days of summer.

I forgot lurking forever in a red telephone booth to look up at rain and your window.

I forgot my son flinging his leather jacket over a puddle intersecting with my path across Bluemner Street.

I forgot the neighbor hiding behind a curtain as he wrote a haiku about a thief tangoing with his shadow when the moon appeared.

I forgot my sympathy for tender hours.

I forgot losing the language of scars—we shook lanterns to bestow frankincense and myrrh.

I forgot you spilling vermouth on the sky.

I forgot the Jessamine wafting over the paddock.

I forgot the joy of eliding the vocabulary found in margins.