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Memory,
My old friend,
Hiding on the shelves
Of my mind, burning without
Smoke or flame the pages of
This life we’ve written.
Edited by omission,
My volumes are slimmer
Than their binding, bound to
Give me reason to wonder;
What’s been missing, what
Haven’t I read, which way
Should my lips curl, should my eyes
Stay still or float away?

Memory,
My old friend,
You’ve kept me
Sane all these years,
Plucking out the rotten,
But giving me just enough
To make me feel full.
Only after, years after,
I realized chunks
Were missing and I bother you
To give them back, but
You’ve thrown them away,
Giving me just enough
Space to know they might have ripened once,
But not to know they decayed.

I read a class assignment I had worked on when I was ~9. The ask was to have the class write their favorite Christmas memory. I wrote that I wanted a bike at my Dad’s, like I had at my Mom’s, and that I heard a noise on Christmas Eve, only to awake to find a bike under the tree. I do not remember any of that assignment, that night, or that morning. I don’t remember a lot of my time at my Dad’s. I used my memory as a means to erase the anger and frustration I felt toward him, toward being stretched between two households. I don’t remember much, and find it easier to not retain than to try and recall it all. I’m hoping having a child will kick-start my memory, and give Candi and I a reason to slow down enough to enjoy the ride of life.

Memory,
You old devil,
Opening only when
I pull you so.

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