Unreliable Narrator

by Catherine MacDonald

It’s the nature of memory, not linear but like sparks
shooting from a fire or a familiar shape

smuggled in, promising something tender: a kiss
on the forehead, the cheek, the chin to chasten

and chagrin. I recast your mother as your sister. The suicide?
A freak accident. A long marriage? No, years wasted,

alone. No children into the stubborn pursuit
of a PhD. Two cats, uncomplicated and clean?

No, just a clingy mutt and a ferret. That swamp-set
trailer is somehow now a quarter-acre lot, only a block

from the murmuring bay—and the deserted back road
to the beach? It’s a cul-de-sac, where we never played

girly games nor permitted girls to enter. Did I mention
Kama Sutra powder tossed over your shoulder, snowdrift

on a mirrored tray? I am someone who remembers
everything you forgot to mention. But don’t depend on me.