remedies I

what can I know of this life but what it cost me? pretending to
love these patterns of negotiation, pretending the Doubleworld
was acceptable—the Skin beneath the Skin made Hell of our Hell,
the Source from which the Source draws rectifies its embellishment,
reifies its abandon. Another way: in a room filled w/ overturned
bottles, the ceiling fan turns, knowing not the relief it provides,
but damns w/ its clicking; we lie awake at night wondering would
it be better to sweat out our sheets, turn the thing off. we remember
stillness as we enact it, hoping to quiet our body as to cool it.
& briefly
I recall how slowly Granny eat, I see her in her dining room chair.


Copyright © 2021 by S*an D. Henry Smith. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on July 9, 2021, by the Academy of American Poets.

About this Poem

“‘remedies I’ is the first in a series of poems emerging from dreams and emotional memory. While writing this series, I find myself tapping into—or being offered—the past and the prophetic without the particulars of moment, but instead with some anchoring residue of feeling emanating from what I do have: time of day, humidity. Not necessarily the chair, but the feeling of sitting down, the height at which I sat, the choreography of passing glances—and from there I zoom back out and try to restructure the world with new perspective, mine own and that conjured, given to me by the dream, or who gave the dream to me. Feeling first. Emotions as evidence, as enough, the intuited as a bridge, the bridge as a remedy to narrative previously erased, lost, or denied.”
S*an D. Henry Smith