Photography © Edward S. Gault

The Memory of Dust

I don’t remember dust,
just that it was red in certain places
and black in others.

When I went to the park
it smelled of dry pine trees
and of licorice when I went
to the spring to collect water
in the pitcher of distances.

It is in my mind
at times I remember
the cows and horses
left their waste behind
and my grandmother
would collect it as fertilizer
for the tomatoes in the garden

I don’t remember dust so well
my mom always asked that I
wipe it off of surfaces
and now I regret
that I listened to her,
I regret that I didn’t write my name
and stare at it,
perhaps I’d remember it better.

But now I have no memories of dust
those that come are like thin clouds
which the wind blows
and there’s nowhere for dust to rise
there’s nothing to stain,
nothing to pollinize
or impregnate.

I miss dust, I miss when it
got into my mouth by mistake
annoying my teeth
and I’d not understand

I wish I had dust in my mouth now
just a few crumbs from the earth
to taste one more time
the speck that made me….
but now, all I have is this imported dirt;
who knows from where;
and from time to time
allergies to which I’ve gotten used to.
I don’t see horseshit anywhere
and the flowers are fed with virtual air

oh dust, where are you
so that I can kiss you and get drunk with life!

Aida Bode is a poet and writer from former communist Albania, whose works have been published in a variety of online and print magazines including Prelude, 34th Parallel, Allegro, West Texas Literary Review, Transcendent Zero Press, Three Line Poetry, Raven’s Perch, Vayavya, and more. She’s the author of the well-received novel David and Bathsheba, based on the biblical story of King David and Bathsheba. Her writing style is characterized by a poetic sense filled with deep philosophical wonder. Aida holds a MA in English and Creative writing from Southern New Hampshire University.

Edward S. Gault is a poet and fine art photographer. He lives at Mosaic Commons, a co-housing community in Berlin, Ma. He has a wife Karen, and daughter.