On “Tomorrow, Mr. Silber” 

by Kay Sage

(a Golden Shovel after Rebecca Sugar)

You always loved that still goes both ways. Time /
and place become stains. Is it any wonder your home is /
a museum of obscure sorrows? I stayed an /
eternity. Broken cameras, dusty carousels. Illusion /
of past obscene grandeur. I want that /
back, because, the next day, you died. It helps /
to remember you as Mobius strip. things /
a math that moves without moving. Make /
the shape from your old film strips. But I sense /

futility in superimposition. So /
I try, instead, to go inside your pictures we're /
worrying apart with our fingers. Always /
it is this way—dying as if living /
and back again. When we were together, in /
that pause, what was moving, and what was still? The /
actions and objects get jumbled in memory. Present /
past and future. Are they verb or noun tense? /

And a thousand years from now, your house, it /
goes to bones and ash, the earth scaffolding, seams /
down to threads, the wind unforgiving. /
The color of your film strips blocks the sun. When /
God made you still for a final, a /
long time, I said You get what you love. Good. /
I don't know how I feel now. This thing /
I carry, like a rare fruit, your absence, your ends /

and means at keeping still. But /
I twitch. I unravel. I move you. /
I cannot help but fold you around and /
twist you up. I cannot let you stay. And in my house I /
clean assiduously. I rearrange. I will /
nouns and verbs to motion. Always /
I dust, I scrub, with mathematical precision. Be /
a Mobius film strip, over and back. /
Maybe death can't catch me if my favorite word is then. /
You and I will always be back then.

Nadia Arioli (nee Wolnisty) is the founder and editor in chief of Thimble Literary Magazine. Their work has appeared or is forthcoming in Spry, SWWIM, Apogee, Penn Review, McNeese Review, Kissing Dynamite, Bateau, Heavy Feather Review, Whale Road Review, SOFTBLOW, and others. They have chapbooks from Cringe-Worthy Poetry Collective, Dancing Girl Press, and a full-length from Spartan.