All the Starry Fays

by James Lineberger

A memory that begins with I remember
has already put its memories
aside clinging to thoughts that were never real
to begin with,
the way she will say she knew you
in another life
when in reality she's not seen your kind before,
who arrive in the spring and sing so briefly
helpless to explain how it is
you can find your voice only in overgrown ditches
or clumps of blackthorn, or how,
when you return home to the savannahs
in the early fall
before the deep snow comes howling in,
you will still be as unfettered
and caution-free
as the whirring cloud of swallows whose wings
she used to wish
were hers
rising like locusts over the burnt-out souls
on Hennepin who can barely recall
your wild song, and held your plain brown body in ecstasy
only once if ever
in a locked-away childhood dream

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