“Resistance…is the willing endurance of cruelty from others.”
Memory is selective, and there are things we forget and others we choose to remember. Sometimes the things we experience live in more than just the mind. The follow us around in shadowy forms that are hard to identify, they attach themselves to objects, live in our contracted muscles, and in dreams. I wrote this piece because I missed someone, because I wanted to feel something that I didn’t, because I had an unfulfilled wish that part of me was clinging to.
I’ve forgotten everything about you
That didn’t gather itself into the
Corners of my room like little piles
Of white ash, hung like laundry drying
Out in morning light when my shuffling
Kicked them up in the evening.
I’ve forgotten the way you smelled in
Afternoons after your first shower and
Before your first cigarette, but my thighs
Recall your waist, how my calves kissed
Your back and pulled you in.
I’ve forgotten how your mouth tastes
After a couple hours of beer and 10 minutes
Of winter’s night over and over again,
Only that my fingers found your hair and
Had to comb themselves through if ever
I left my seat or felt your chin pressing snugly
Into my shoulder.
I’ve forgotten the frosted glaze that spread
From your irises down to your roughened jaw
As I watched you from under water and couldn’t
Touch you with fields full of open palms that
Shrunk with the cold, just the hollowness that
Stayed even after you ‘d left, that echoed like
Aluminum and tasted like spare change.
Yes, I’ve forgotten everything about you
But these spine-worn pages that spread themselves
Over my surfaces like so much chalk and
Always there is the wanting, wanting that coats
My tongue, tickles my throat, and makes me thirsty
In a vague way that feels like hunger or lust or fear
And maybe I should call or maybe I should clean up
Because there are still the pieces that I haven’t yet
Forgotten and others I wish I could remember.