Parkside & Ocean

b ferguson
there is a kind of memory that feels, somehow
suddenly, like a wound, though not always, not until
one wanders back through: the dark, damp alley the only path 
toward home—every place i have loved has forced me to leave.
and then there is memory as one might always wish: 
bejeweled, like sugar on the tongue upon reentry.
what is the name for the scent that whispers mother,
the twanged hue of evening that gestures island,
limestone, cane, spume? Flatbush, i have sauntered away
from everything that has called me kin now,
as i have before, but in what little time we have left,
let me remember you, let me remember what lay beneath
your weather—your snow-born streams, your troubled foliage. 
guinep, worship, convenience, heel and toe. old dream,
will either of us return to what we once were? to when? 
From You Are Here: Poetry in the Natural World (Milkweed Editions, 2024), edited by Ada Limón. Copyright © 2024 Milkweed Editions and the Library of Congress. Used with the permission of the author. Published in Poem-a-Day on April 13, 2024, by the Academy of American Poets.