Issue 19




I Forgot the Protection of Diamonds


Eileen R. Tabios





I forgot the capacity to feel you in the breeze lifting my hair from their shyness. 


I forgot color is also a narrative.


I forgot memorizing the marks of animals pawing as they hunt.


I forgot the sky so lurid it was nonreverberative.


I forgot wishing to be pale.


I forgot greeting mornings as an exposed nerve.


I forgot addiction to Duende for its intimacy with savagery.


I forgot jade’s cousin: the green of Antarctic berg ice discovered as a lost emerald rib broken and floating away from a maternal continent.


I forgot longing for a sky without horizon, but acceding instead to the eye’s clamor against the opposite of claustrophobia.


I forgot your body against mine introduced the limits of sunlight’s expanse.


I forgot feeling you in the air against my cheek.


I forgot recognitions: a white bird against a grey sky as the same gesture I painted for years as a single brushstroke of turquoise.


I forgot the many deflections allowed to enable some semblance of progress.


I forgot the World War II concentration camp where amnesiacs tortured by tying together the legs of pregnant women.


I forgot feeling Michelangelo’s slaves surge out of stone.


I forgot both perception and imperceptibility carry a price.


I forgot obviating memory for what I believed was a higher purpose.


I forgot the cocoon hanging from a tree like a tender promise.  I forgot deferring judgment.


I forgot astonishment over a block of grey metal swallowing light.


I forgot becoming my own sculpture when I crawled on a floor to see color from different angles.


I forgot the liberating anonymity conferred by travel: Mindanao, Berlin, Melbourne, Amsterdam, Istanbul became hours requiring no count.


I forgot New Mexico whose adobe walls were soothed by brown paper bag lanterns glowing from their lit candles.


I forgot a good day can be approximated by eating a red apple while strolling through white snow.


I forgot aching for fiction that would not chasten my days.


I forgot admiring Picasso’s Sleeping Nude, 1907, for its lack of sentimentality.


I forgot your favorite color was water.


I forgot chafing at eating food earned by someone else, each swallow bequeathing an ineffable with the demeanor of ice.


I forgot the colors of a scream: the regret of crimson, the futility of pink, the astonishment of brown.


I forgot the protection of his diamonds.


I forgot how detachment includes.  I forgot how detachment enabled a white rattlesnake to penetrate my dreams.


I forgot death without forgetting my mortality.


I forgot your betrayal that forever marks me like a heart’s tattoo blossoming painfully against an inner thigh.


I forgot the bliss deep within an ascetic’s eyes as he wandered with a beggar’s bowl.


I forgot dust motes trapped in a tango after the sun lashed out a ray.


I forgot admiring women who refuse to paint their lips.


I forgot the bald girl whose neck increasingly thinned until I could count the ropes stretched along her throat.


I forgot the plainest of bread can clear an oenophile’s palate.


I forgot learning to appreciate rust, and how it taught me bats operate through radar.


I forgot I was not an immigrant; I was simply myself who lacked control at how the world formed outside the “Other” of me.


I forgot dancing furious flamenco with vultures under a menopausal sun.


I forgot one can use color to prevent encounters from degenerating into lies.


I forgot Mom beginning to age when she started looking at the world through heartbreaking resignation.


I forgot even a boor can pause before a Rembrandt portrait.


I forgot jasmine insisted it was the scent of gold.


I forgot how one begins marking time from a lover’s utterance of Farewell.


I forgot how an erasure captures the threshold of consciousness.


I forgot the night was unanimous.


I forgot clutching the wet mane of a panicked horse.


I forgot the spine bent willingly for a stranger’s whip.


I forgot you were the altar that made me stay.










Eileen R. Tabios loves books and has released over 20 print and five electronic poetry collections; an art essay collection; a “collected novels” book; a poetry essay/interview anthology; a short story collection; and an experimental biography.  Her 2014 poetry collections are 147 MILLION ORPHANS (MMXI-MML), 44 RESURRECTIONS and SUN STIGMATA (Sculpture Poems).  Eileen R. Tabios is online at EileenRTabios.com



                                               <  e·  >