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Return to Earth

By Alex Ledford From Issue No. 2

after Koie Ryoji

Ask yourself at dawn
how faces can fade from memory as easily
as a human body
deteriorates, eaten
by cells multiplying as they feed.
There are people gone
or dead or fucked off somewhere
thinking of them too hard
is like looking at the sun,
blurs their faces
so you can’t see
their long noses, the ways their eyes are set, or hear
their pitchy/resounding voices.
They are blank,
skin-colored ovals
who may have said worthwhile things.

Ask their memories
which of those things you might have missed,
but you can’t think how they might answer
(crinkling foreheads, whale
before each pause), and Roger Daltrey’s face
coming up through iron-pinned sand
struggles to keep
metal grains from its open mouth
and a voice talks at you and says:

About Alex Ledford More From Issue No. 2