to disappear for Marquetalla

Tim VanDyke




memory of hunger in the unmoving places                memory of


decay              memory of the small gift of you                 memory of


erasure           you and I disappear into a memory of


leaving                         out the door to go to work          you left that image


revolving through my dreams                           memory of the path lost


and you circling back to find me  


memory of rain high in the mountains


remember watching the clouds slide down the slope


memory of bullets


memory sliding out of my brain


memory of blood bound to the side of the hill


memory takes hold of nothing and shakes it awake


only to walk out the door


I take hold of it                        I bind it


I take hold of you, too, Manuel, and I bind you


just as my blood is bound to the memory of your sad eye


just as I take hold of the Colombian government


and those puppets strung up in the trees


planted with money from the North—


my corpse is dissolving into the river


into the reddened waves slapping the bank


and the rain washes out


the iron in my blood                            each particle stands on end


sifted through and partitioned along synapses


startled at the sound of an ambulatory moment in the sun


just as you and I disappear into the water like two snakes enmeshed


diadem blazing inside me as the ash covers your wet face


snakes struggling to claim the dead bird in their throats—


memory of my son


when he dives into the eddies and whirlpools


cut by the river’s course


when he lets his body be dragged underwater


until drowning seems a certainty


until the hand of the Lord lifts his head out of damnation


and he goes back to the beginning to dive again—


memory disappeared beneath the river


how much now does the Lord raise up


to dance with the corpses in the forest


of those disappeared in full daylight and those disappeared


at night


how many to disappear for Marquetalla


my son remains on the cliff


beckoning to the firing squad


raising their arms on the shore


both are so darkly glimpsed beneath the waves


I can no longer tell one from the other








TIM VANDYKE has published Topographies Drawn with a Divine Chain of Birds (Lavender Ink/ Dialogos, 2011), Fugue Engine (Cannibal Books, 2012), Light on the Lion’s Face: A Reading of Baudrillard’s Seduction (Argotist, 2012), and Farallones (Garden Door Press, 2018). His recent work has appeared in The Brooklyn Rail, Typo, and elsewhere.