A Forgetting Statement
My brother and I must’ve been bored
throwing the balloon beside our twin beds,
his against the far wall. Mine intended
for the other wall but with space on both sides
to fall off of it. Not saying much,
we must have been upset. I’m still up
for being brothers if you are, I said.
It’s been ages. I don’t remember how old
we were, but I must’ve also been desperate.
My brother gnarled his face in a way
I was used to, but in a way I’d run from
on a stranger coming toward me from darkness.
Just throw the balloon, he said. I kept
thinking it must not have been what he wanted.
Even now I can see the balloon. Its light
drifting back and forth, the brown arms a blur
behind it, the two-armed reaches, the throws,
the hands, the double palmed catches, even
the features on our young and goofy faces,
and the rest of the room swirling like clouds
on a hostile planet. Despite the decay,
the memory remains. It’s because it remains
that I’m trusting it. Does the memory become
reality if you and your brother are still inside
when the world ends, if only one of you
ever comes out of it?
Dustin Pearson reads “A Forgetting Statement”
Dustin Pearson is the author of A Season in Hell with Rimbaud (BOA Editions, 2022), Millennial Roost (C&R Press, 2018), and A Family Is a House (C&R Press, 2019). He is a McKnight Doctoral Fellow in Creative Writing at Florida State University. The recipient of fellowships from Cave Canem, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing, and The Anderson Center at Tower View, Pearson has served as the editor of Hayden’s Ferry Review and a Director of the Clemson Literary Festival. He won the Academy of American Poets Katharine C. Turner Prize and John Mackay Graduate Award and holds an MFA from Arizona State University. The recipient of a 2021 Pushcart Prize, his work also appears or is forthcoming in The Nation, Honey Literary, Poetry Northwest, Blackbird, Vinyl Poetry, Bennington Review, TriQuarterly, [PANK], The Literary Review, Poetry Daily, Hayden’s Ferry Review, and elsewhere.