How we are tricked by memory

My poems come from pith,
just below the hide of me,
from the circus trance of
living the long moment,

the split between inspiration
and expiration, blue with envy
of the sky, such security!
We’re doomed, aren’t we,

to just missing it all,
to the rear view,
to always thinking,
“So that was it?”

Never mind.
It orders itself soon enough
into personal mythology.
You know the stories,

how this and that
caused something or other,
you either played a part
or didn’t. Nevertheless,

a certain wistfulness,
thin as a spider’s wiry grip
and as strong,
betrays us every time.

Piston

From the poet’s dictionary

noun \ˈpis-tən\
a sound like a fist, like rain,
like fat drops on hardpan,
like a screen door flapping,
like gasoiline on skin,
like burning sand,
like the smell of coal ash
at ten below zero,
like a stain in the heart
that cannot be removed,
like every slamming, crushing,
fierce and mortal thing
that cannot be undone,
except by love.

See also grief.