Saturday, December 12, 2015


my stomach heaves and wretches
memories? dreams? flashbacks?
run up and down my body
my skin like fire
like something not my own
then begins
the restlessness
and i am up, i am moving
through space like a frantic pleading
keep moving, keep doing, keep breathing
stay above it
above this sadness
that greets you each morning, like
an old friend
this weight you've never not known
at least since you can remember
can you remember?

in my otherwise
elephantine memory,
there is so much unclear
so many blurred visions
chunks of time, missing
she says, you loved him!
but all i remember
is years later
when he reappeared at a family party
stomach clenched,
knees locked,
my frozen legs would not carry me close to him
to even say hello
i did not understand why
at the time

the photograph, of me posing
my child body, thin and stark
the look on your face, when i
asked too many questions, again
the silence
the silence that haunts all the halls in my family's homes
the compliance, the terrible note of acceptance
of all my grandmothers' best kept secrets
the shame, the pain
the silence

there is no witness to this story
no one to tell
no one to break down to
my mothers memory is full of holes
and wine
winding staircases that lead to nowhere, to walls
my otherwise elephantine memory
feels untrustworthy, at best
or maybe like it doesn't know if it can trust me yet
my grandmother won't speak of it
he, is dead.

but this story lives and moves
in my body
memories resurfacing
like tremors, quakes, triggers of
torrential tears
this story, this listening
its like sewing together
patchwork pieces of my past
this is the only story that renders sense
of useless scraps
of these stories my body tells,
but my mind cannot remember.

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