Michael Meyerhofer



Let's say your mother smokes just one or two Pall Malls
whenever your aunt comes over, and this scares you

because they've showed movies in science class
about what happens to lungs that draw in too much fire,

taking in cinders like stray kittens, but she smiles, says
Don't tell your father, and in two decades she'll be dead

though not from cancer like your aunt, which changes
the memory somehow because you're the only one left,

which reminds you of that other day when you learned
that before the earth, before the sun, there must have been          

other stars here, previous tenants in the same rented lot
whose heart attacks fueled all that what was to come,

and you imagine floating in a room with all those
bright, doomed stars, making promises, talking about

the agency of memory, and they're quaking like
hummingbirds, and you're telling them not to worry.







Many times, my poems start out because a particular memory is nagging at me, but I have no idea why. So writing the poem is probably my attempt at psychoanalyzing whatever weird leaps my brain is making. Somewhere along the line, though, I try to step out of my own head, my own perspective, and polish a [very] rough draft into something that might actually resonate with the reader. In other words, for me, writing is kind of like inviting a detective to investigate a crime scene, waiting until they reach a few conclusions, then asking them express those conclusions through interpretative dance.