On dating

 

RUTH ROACH PIERSON


 

My Late Night Date with an MRI Machine 

 

I’m lying on my back
in a space like the interior
of a grounded submarine
or the stomach of a giant
metallic nematode, my ears,
though plugged and muffed,
unable to escape the steady
blasts of sound like the gravelly
throbbing gristle of an orchestra’s
brass section tunelessly
growling in a low register.
 
I find it difficult to take
my mind off this sonic assault,
though I try by composing
competing songs in my head
or letting my thoughts drift
back to the days at the end
of my parents’ lives, the pleasure
they could take in the slightest
event, like my father catching
between the hills outside Issaquah
a momentary glimpse of Mount
Rainier in all her majesty.
 
But my thoughts keep returning
to that time when I’m walking
with my Mother down a Seattle street,
and she asks if I couldn’t slow down,
then feels ashamed, remembering
how annoyed she used to get
with my grandma, her mother-in-law,
who, in her black leather lace-up shoes,
always walked with an unhurried pace.

 


rrp
RUTH ROACH PIERSON’s latest, TILL I CAUGHT MYSELF (Seraphim Editions, 2017) now available at knife | fork | book
My Late Night Date With an MRI Machine. RUTH ROACH PIERSON c. 2017 Reprinted here with permission by the poet.
Photo: KIRBY

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