Tip of His Tongue

This selection is part of NonBinary Review Issue #8: The Art of War. Get NonBinary Review #8 from the Zoetic Press website. 

The blank American beach
offers broad Atlantic broader Pacific
rapine of conquistadors and pilgrims
shady dealings vast distances in hard times
hopefears requiring a forebear forego
almost all for a certain uncertain promise
and in such incredible amnesia, must play
the wisdom game against lapping tides

The waves taunt
But the lives he’ll never live
and the reasons he can’t recall
taunt him worse

Remember is the command
to Proteus wrestling his strange self in the sand

Remember—The 144,000 souls at creation and at the end, woven throughout
time, reiterated into tenements and tents engorging both strangeness and
recognition confounding and affirming a single mammoth truth with each
contentious breath
Remember—The distortion built into all seeing so the round of the year
appears an arrow penetrating the depths of the unprecedented
Remember—The command to Arjuna to know his own soul and still to kill, to
seek in blood and betrayal the knot tied in all souls
Remember—Not to panic when you get here

Or was it something else?

The force of the night is against knowing—resistance
like a rusty fishing reel or trying to write down a dream
The path back chewed by feet bent by backs bent faded
by the claims of posterity mistranslated
at the insistence of the angels’ autocorrect

It dances on the tip of his tongue
holds him close and rebuffs him
sprouting and concealing worlds
without reward

NBR8DoddssmallColin Dodds is the author of Another Broken Wizard, WINDFALL and The Last Bad Job. His writing has appeared in more than two hundred publications, and been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and the Best of the Net Anthology. Colin’s book-length poem That Happy Captive was a finalist for the Trio House Press Louise Bogan Award as well as the 42 Miles Press Poetry Award in 2015. And his screenplay, Refreshment, was named a semi-finalist in the 2010 American Zoetrope Contest.