My aunt died two years ago. She used to visit twice a year from the Czech Republic. She was my last real tie to my Slovakian heritage. When I was a child, I used to lay on a boulder in my front lawn, baking in the Alabama sun, and tell stories about my adventures as an old man. I don’t remember much from back then, but I remember the trees and I remember the people on the river. I responded to the regeneration scarab.
For the Scarab in My Breast Pocket
When I was young, not more than three,
I remembered my life
as an old man. When I was older,
maybe eight, I wanted to be reborn
as a rock.
After she passed, I found a stone scarab
in my Janička’s house.
I’ve kept her in my jacket pocket
When I was an old man, before I was young,
I lived in the trees
on the river.
I would watch
as passersby lazily rowed past
and I would smile at them.
When I am stone
I will be still