… I could feel it being painted within me

THIS MUCH I DO 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 white cruets for vinegar and oil.

Alll 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 you shoulders

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 that stars are said
to be fixed in the universe.

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

– Billy Collins


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6 Comments

  1. Posted April 24, 2015 at 6:01 am | Permalink

    Love Billy Collins so much and this one is just… I don’t even know. Perfect. Thanks. Happy Friday. xoxo

  2. Posted April 24, 2015 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    This poem is so beautiful, what a way to start my weekend, thank you Lindsey, for adding another Billy Collins poem to my list of favorites.

  3. Posted April 24, 2015 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    LOVE. I adore Collins, as you know, but don’t think I’d read this poem before. So perfect for you and your deep love of the everyday. xo

  4. Posted April 24, 2015 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    Oh, those last two stanzas. Perfection. Glad I waited until my second cup to read this. xo

  5. Ari
    Posted April 24, 2015 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

    Beautiful. Thank you!

  6. Posted April 26, 2015 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

    Oh, just beautiful, Lindsey. Thank you.