This Much I Do Remember

this much i remember

It was after dinner. You were talking to me across the table about something or other, a greyhound you had seen that day or a song you liked,

and I was looking past you over your bare shoulder, at the three oranges lying on the kitchen counter next to the small electric bean grinder. which was also orange, and the orange and the white cruets, for vinegar oil,

all of which converged into a random still life, so fastened together by the hasp of color, and so fixed behind the animated foreground of your talking and smiling, gesturing and pouring wine, and the camber of your shoulder

that I could feel it being painted within me, brushed on the wall of my skull, while the tone of your voice lifted and fell in its flight, and the three oranges remained fixed on the counter the way stars are said to be fixed in the universe.

Then all the moments of the past began to line up behind that moment and all the moment to come assembled in front of it in a long row, giving me reason to believe that this was the moment that rush out of sight into darkness behind the eyes.

Even after I have forgotten what year it is, my middle name, and the meaning of money, I will still carry in my pocket the small coin of that moment minted in the kingdom that we pace through every day.

This Much I Do Remember, Billy Collins

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