Remember the beatings after the streetlights went out, the small change, the coffee cups, my Nikes kicked up on the barstool. Remember the dog who was thrown down the stairs, the white veils in the wind at our first communion, the blood in the wine, the salt on the meat, and Gloria rolling joints on the changing table. Remember the ice cream, the ointments, the slow smile of our mother at the foot of the stairs, the split lip, the sirens, the Stevie Wonder.
Remember the day they took us out from that house, the swift scoop, their string strong arms, the government papers they shook in her face and the low, panelled ceiling of the courtroom. Remember the broken chain hanging from the backyard swing, the chocolate cake she set down on the counter, the cool leaves beneath our feet in the fall. Remember that what we once were will always be in us, the dark rock pattern of our childhood, which is gold and coal, and cannot be mined.