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July 2017, vol 13 no 2

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Judson Evans

Montauk


My father, with his grey thatch of chest hair, breasts breakers in a moment of buoyancy. But no sound, no dialogue – this is silent film. I lost the green transparent discs from his 50's office recorder. I have a clearer memory of that heavy hunched device, the way its bulk hinged open to clamp the turntable, than who he was. A weighted stylus scribbled a groove, carved a voice, the way a glacier abrades an outlet to the sea. Studies on memory prove each re-remembering erases the last, each flash a flickering extinction. He had a distinct stride, incarnated in my brother walking back from the beach holding his own son's hand. My journals, discovered again after thirty years, hold a trace, but obstruct what they would excavate as those first archeologists – Heinrich Schliemann at Troy or Sir Arthur Evans at Knossos – stymied further digs by ornate reconstructions of dolphins and plumed bare-chested peacock princes. Page after page of drafts, crossed out – all the poems I'd write called Montauk, a spit of headlands, worn down by winter storms.

toe to heel, the sun
evaporates a father's
footprints


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