Issue 27 | Winter 2021

Memory Theater

The shade of my little lamp tints the air

blue and the air fills with a scent like eau

de vie and musk. Can’t find my shoes. Forget

them. Torn sheet? Forget that. The soft quilt drifts,

my cast-off reading glasses tilt sideways—

slippery sheet, blind glasses, orphan shoes: 

a stage for drunken love though I’m sober. 

My room—what is it? Waking memory

theater. That April when I wandered

lonely as nothing, it was never those

daffodils that blazed on my soul. It

wasn’t men, though I flirted with some.  It

was fear like the trembling of joy. It was

me on that dream-silent, fence-bound street.

Filed under: Poetry

Miriam Levine is the author of Saving Daylight, her fifth collection of poetry. Another collection, The Dark Opens, was chosen by Mark Doty for the Autumn House Poetry Prize. Other books include Devotion, a memoir, and In Paterson, a novel. Her work has appeared in American Poetry Review, The Kenyon Review, The Paris Review, and Ploughshares. Levine, a fellow of the NEA and a grantee of the Massachusetts Artists Foundation, lives in Florida and New Hampshire. For more information about her work, please go to