"I always have half a mind to tear out things
and start again." (April 21, 2011, fifteen going on sixteen,
when I thought myself a scholar and a cut above
who wanted to reinvent herself
(wearing an old dress with new shoes to junior prom
for a second chance)
but missed the memo that when you start again,
you start Now- with no rewrite,
no retcon of fact
but to destroy the evidence and
cast the past into oblivion.
This is not the same thing.
Memory is liquid and clings
to its vessels:
an old butterfly journal
disjointed cursive letters
an agitated black ink scrawl
liquid time is thin in my fingers without words, a book to bind
it slips from small cupped hands
to evaporate. Or moisten the earth to feed the new grass.
But I can still hold a pen
and all the solid things I write [have written] with it.
At fifteen: "we are always improving and
favoring the new over the old
versions of ourselves," but
If I erase the bad stuff.
poor choices dumb love hopeless nights
(age twenty: "I can't live in the same body as myself")
more melted would be the memory of
(age twenty) "green farm country, bursting & blooming
and lush all around
Nina Simone crooning through the car speakers
a bird taking a dust bath"
or the dream of a resurrected sevillana
asking me to fix her internet (age nineteen),
a solid memory pinned down by pen:
"I touched her
+ her body