I Wanted to Remember, but What I Recall

Olivia Stoltzfus
BFA TX 2024


I wanted to remember the parrot perched and po’ boys

and the saxophone player coating the park with Stevie
Wonder, but I recall the impossibility of my body.

We walked barefoot under moss cirri and licked our
fingers of powdered sugar, and all

I recall is the breeze pressing a cotton shirt to my soft

When I watch C’mon, C’mon, with the little boy and
Joaquin Phoenix, I love to spot the old oak

in City Park that my sister climbed.

I love the part in a movie or book when the title is
revealed — “Come on, come on,” telling little kids to keep

Keeping up is why the old oaks didn’t make me cry,
but trying to find parking did.


The room smelled of red wine when she opened

the door to her shotgun house,

the kitchen                            barreling

                 after the                bedroom barreling

                 after the living room

                                                  and          bookshelves.

I stared at the photos until the faces looked alien —

photos of their wedding      reception in the NoMA
sculpture garden

beside the bound book of a New Orleans painter, beside
a square framed photo of an abandoned

chapel in a Mississippi         swamp,                   sinking in
the slush;

beside a

woven                     basket and wooden



I make invocations to my mind — Get caught

                                                 here, please!

Let’s feel

deeply. Again

and again and



Pride and Prejudice (2005) from the fold-out couch,
                 even headstands and oracle

card readings at 6am,

                 or the succulents

                                                    growing outside

the row





Olivia Stoltzfus enjoys buying produce from local farms.