To Kill a Memory

by Max Conley

Artwork by Emily Yue

I saw it failing in the lantern’s light;

a shock of white with time to tell the age.

I clicked my heels and flung the line of tight

configured tragedies that sang its cage.

The minutes swam, and it forgot to drown

within the diving bell that caught it in

the twine of withered ropes and rhymes, so down

it didn’t drop: at fault, a captious pin.

And thus these esoteric phrases form

the wrinkles born beneath its weathered eyes;

I rearrange its visage just to warm

the tethering to try to scorch the ties.

But dead and hollow days still rack the bell

that’s rusty, cold, and strains to peal its knell.

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