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John Sibley Williams



This is not you.
This is a photograph of you, edges tattered by memory.
This is a man fingering the glass surface of you.
This is a man passing himself off as a photograph.

But this memory is not you either.
This is a memory whose meaning has changed too often.
This is a sun forever in the background.
This is beach sand that cannot clump between your toes.

This is a single moment calcified then unearthed.
This is a father and this other figure is a son.
This is a role that over time will reverse.

And this is how no one will remember you.
This is how no one remembered him.
This is why you hang the photograph over your bed and dream of elsewhere.
This is why you want to believe there is more to you than now.

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John Sibley Williams is the author of eight collections, most recently Controlled Hallucinations (FutureCycle Press, 2013). Four-time Pushcart nominee, he is the winner of the HEART Poetry Award and has been a finalist for the Rumi, Best of the Net, and The Pinch Poetry Prizes. John serves as editor of The Inflectionist Review and Board Member of the Friends of William Stafford. A few previous publishing credits include: American Literary Review, Third Coast, Nimrod International Journal, Rio Grande Review, Inkwell, Cider Press Review, Bryant Literary Review, Cream City Review, RHINO, and various anthologies. He lives in Portland, Oregon.

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