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Sunday, May 31, 2020


by Wendy Hoffman

Credit: Doug Mills/The New York Times, May 29, 2020.

The moon lifts its holy head like a sanctified queen.
Humans should not be there or leave bent over, backwards, reverent.
But competitive men are curious which they believe gives them the right.
This country, which turned away victims but
invited defeated Nazi scientists,
rips the untouchable veil from the bottom up
and ejects transparent astronauts,
stooges, sacrificed heroes.
A large striped boot print tattoos crevasses, crevices,

When I was four playing outside, a neighborhood boy twice my age or more
wanted to see me down there. He pointed his skinny finger. I squeezed my thighs
together but already trained never to say no, I watched my cotton undies fall to
my turned in ankles. The curious boy who rode his bicycle through hilly blocks
pretended to be a scientist. He inspected and had a good look.

They have a good photographic look while jobless people
on earth look up and remain hungry.
I watch rockets on TV,
hide my reddened face from our irreverence.

Wendy Hoffman had amnesia for most of her life. When she regained memory late in life, she wrote books about what she had forgotten. Karnac Books, London, published two of her memoirs in 2014 and 2015, as well as her first book of poetry in 2016. She co-authored a book of essays in 2018 for Routledge. Her third memoir is forthcoming from Aeon Books. Hoffman has a MFA and lives on the Olympic Peninsula with her little dog.