Poem: Unremembered memories

Music vibrates my eardrums and I see my reflection on this screen as I type. My face that I can read so well, my necklaces with their stories and piercings and earrings, the eyelashes I inherited from my father and the shape of my mother’s face, my freckles and hair that so many suns have shone on, my lips that have kissed and been kissed.

The green/blue/grey eyes that have misted over and burned with unshed tears, eyes that have seen below the surface and that in their corners now see couples talking and kissing.

My neck that has had peaceful faces rest in its hollows, my collarbones that lovers traced with their fingers, my shoulders that have been tense and massaged and sunburnt, my hands that held my little brother’s newborn face, dug into the sand, gave pleasure, wrote and drew and played instruments, my hands that he held as he slept, my hands that will one day hold my own child.

In my body I contain a lifetime of memories, remembered and unremembered.

It remembers the feeling of others, the sensations of sunshine and the ocean, the way India’s streets smelled or the feeling of a temple’s cold marble floors on my soles, it remembers the sting of a bluebottle and the wrenching feeling of a heart breaking in half, the hum of a tattoo and an inhale of smoke, the coldness of shock, the painful warm expanding of the heart when it encompasses the complex nameless emotions that come with the feeling of true love, my body remembers it all.

All the bodies surrounding me are also collections of emotions and sensations and memories, love and knowledge and longing. The universe inside their skin is as central to their existence as mine is to me.

Yet no summer’s day can draw comparison, and no poem will render their memory-bank bodies eternal. They too will fade with the seasons until that lifetime of experiences will be no more important to the world than a dead leaf is to a tree. Once the culmination of everything, now nothing more than an unremembered memory.


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