From The Dali Poems

I.

THE PERSISTENCE OF MEMORY 1931


It has been said that a melting Camembert

cheese wheel inspired Salvador Dali’s

painting “The Persistence of Memory.”


A Camembert wheel from yesterday’s lunch

has been left on the back garden table.


How helpless it looks,

all white and soft and runny,

drooping sadly over

the metal table’s noon-hot edge.


The cruelty of August’s sun

has spoiled the cheese that only yesterday

was round and full of flavour

like a clock face full of meaning and hope,

anticipation,

and the possibilities

of what time could bring.


I touch the ruined cheese

that I will never taste,

now sticky and smelly,

useless as a melted clock

that has lost all time,

lost, like the good strong flavour

of this forgotten cheese

rotting in the sun.


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