Thursday, May 2, 2024

Hold Close

While you remember, while you’re lucky enough,
You can’t help trying to make your memory
Do stuff. Small things (Hera was the wife of Zeus),
Of course, all the trivia, the minutiae
You use to get through conversations with life
And everyone else as they recall themselves,
But also the more substantial, quality
Of awareness of awareness kind of stuff,
Which tends to bin into two categories,
One, the spookier side of recollection,
The other on the side of consolation.

The spookier side you know can’t control,
Can’t even fathom. Way out in the ocean
Of deep memory’s night, you lean on the bow,
And you wait and you hope for what will surface,
Watching for the bioluminescent lights.
You wait and you hope for something to surface,
And even if it isn’t what you wanted,
And it usually is some kind of surprise,
Disappointing, delightful, or frightening,
You’ll take it just for the mystery of it,
Memory out of darkness, you as witness.

But you school memory as consolation.
You feel this is something you should be able
To make memory do, to put it to work on,
To ask of it, within reason. You have lived
A goodly number, a vast number, really,
Of specific moments of especial bliss
During which you were aware, for that moment,
However briefly, that living couldn’t get
Much better than this. And you remember those.
If memory is really worth the having,
Access to those moments should always be close.

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