You Want to Go Back

by Fleming Meeks
Featured Art: Johnny Dunn’s Sandwhich Shop – Walker Evans

You want to go back is the name of your car,
the make, the model, the name you give the swaying trees,
the rustle of leaves before a thunderstorm
as sun gives way to clouds and quiet falls
on a meadow of grass and clover.
You want to go back and ask the question.
Or you dream it. Or it’s a movie with Walter Huston,
the rumor of a movie at MGM, killed
before shooting began. Nothing was written down,
no minutes of the meetings, nothing
but a few scraps of papyrus, of vellum, of cuneiform
carved into stone, baffling translators.
Or typed on onion skin, brittle and cracked
in a box in the basement of the first house
you ever bought, along with a fund-raising letter
from Dwight Eisenhower, then president
of Columbia University, and a water-stained circular
from the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists warning
of the danger of a full-scale atomic war.
The temperature is dropping, the wind is erratic,
swift and then calm. You want to go back.


Fleming Meeks’s work has appeared in The Yale Review, The American Poetry Review, Kenyon Review Online, and Brevity. He can be seen in PBS’s Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story, which is now streaming on Net ix. He worked as a financial writer and editor for thirty years. He lives in New Jersey.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s