The Whole Truth


They say (the people who know these things)
That when we remember, we only remember
The last time we remembered,
The memories of our memories.
How I lay with her in the field at night
And it was not cold and I was thinking
How the sky is not black but the trees,
the trees are black fingers against the sky,
And the field is not black, but has an oily sheen
Left from the greenness of day.
And our low voices gave way to the things that only lovers say,
Things too loud for light but seem to thunder in the dark
And the sky gave way to drops of rain
Fat and wet and loose.

These things I remember
Or the memory of my memory,
Like straining for the last echoes from a shout in a cave.
"It was not cold." "It rained." "We kissed."
These are the facts that no amount of remembering
Can forget, even as memories turn to dreams
And dreams to the half-formed things
Of another life. We are left with the cold, hard fragments, the words -
"I lay with her in the field at night." -
They are so small and say so little,
Not untrue and not the whole truth.
"The night is not black but the trees."

David N Rose