She had lost her memory at 35.
"So what?" her husband always says, and smiles
when someone remarks. Tonight they've come
to hear B.B. King in concert, live, in Memphis.
They saw B.B. last year, but she can't recall.
Her husband reminds her of that evening now,
quickly moving them through the smoky crowd
so she can get a closer look. In perfect
patience and love, he seats her where she commands
a clear view of the stage, closing his hand
and opening it on the smooth back of her chair.
At the small table, their elbows touch.
On the stage, B.B. is resplendent in black
and baby blue. The husband asks his wife
if she remembers the color of the jacket
when they saw him last. "Pink," she says.
It was orange. But he likes the way she touches his arm
when memory skims the surface of her mind
like, he imagines, the shadow of a gull
over sleeping water. His face burns
with the thought, the hope, that tonight in bed--
perhaps early, perhaps late--she will turn
to him and speak against his back, recalling
the jacket perfectly

Dirt, Autumn House Press

Back to Poems

Copyright JoMcDougall
Credit for Photograph -- Wooldridge Photography
Please request written consent to copy, print, or otherwise reproduce any content on this website.
Contact Jo McDougall for such a request.

Site Designed by