Diego Maradona and the Impermanence of Memory

Diego Maradona and the Impermanence of Memory

Summer 1988

February 13, 2008

A ribbon of memories
tangled around his feet.
He sat, devastated, in a deck chair,
surrounded by a crowed of sympathetic
strangers. Pointing to the frames,
bleaching in the sun, recounting
the stories that they told.

And I, with the new-found focus
of I’ll-never-see-this-again, wallowed
in the stories of this failed
photographer, pointing to the shots
he’d never have to explain
why he missed.

There, on the deck, Diego Maradona.
Yes, that frame, the hand of god –
the shot that proves it was his head,
not his hand. The shot the world
would pay millions to see.

But, due to a faulty door catch,
there it lies, ruined, in the grecian
midday, glinting off the water,
off the jewel-like islands,
off the perfect photos
nobody can ever contradict.

And there – that one – that’s me
with Diego. Di, I call him. He shook
my hand. I promised him a copy.

But now, now,

all gone.

His wife, sitting next to him, nods
her agreement. Or is she just sleeping?
We’re careful not to wake her,
just in case. Like him, like Diego,
we’d rather believe. And evidence,
sometimes, is just as inconvenient
when you have it as when you don’t.