J. ALAN NELSON
Time Pulled Apart
My feet slap the wet pavement in the early morning.
I run by my father’s closed Chrysler dealership on Main
to a phone booth to call home.
I pick up the receiver.
A woman’s voice says
I am calling you from seven years ago
in a car on the way to the airport.
I’ll see you in 1927.
Disoriented, my parents and I sit in a restaurant.
An old woman hands me a paper napkin.
My mother gasps at the written message.
My father is angry.
Demetreo is dead, says the old woman.
She tries to give me two rings from her hand.
One is a band of gold netting,
a lion’s face woven in the golden web.
I push them away,
and she puts the diamond back on her finger,
but leaves the golden lion on my plate.
I sit on the bottom bunk of a bed
sold in a garage sale.
My brother pulls up the venetian blinds
and looks through the window of the wrong frame house.
He shouts Go to hell if you think
I’m living through this year again.
I search through a newspaper
for a date, a memory, a hold
to pull us together once more.
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