Another Memory Gone

Jeff Friedman


There’s a hole where a memory used to be. I think it may have been a good memory because I was smiling when I tried to remember it. I even gave out a chuckle, without knowing why. There are things falling in the hole where the memory lived, twigs, feathers, stones, the hats of houses, the loose dresses of harridans, plush oranges, an old man’s hump, the phone booth on some corner, a solemn scarf, even a monk staring out a window at a snake yielding to a large bird plunging down at it. There may even be other memories falling into the hole like the moment the young woman’s hands rose stiffly over the half notes on the out of tune piano, or the moment the windows sweated in the hot summer, or the clouds fell over the trees, or the manhole covers rolled down the streets, or the shiny quarters flipped in air all at once—me on the sidewalk, looking up, calling heads.


Jeff Friedman’s tenth book, Ashes in Paradise, will be published by Madhat Press in March 2023. Friedman’s poems and mini stories have appeared in American Poetry Review, Poetry, Poetry International, New England Review, Flash Fiction Funny, Best Microfiction 2021 and 2022, and The New Republic. He has received an NEA Literature Translation Fellowship and numerous other awards. Meg Pokrass and Friedman’s co-written collection of microfiction, The House of Grana Padano, was recently published by Pelekinesis.



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