Gathering reflections from a river
gone by. Remembering like a
reluctant rain. The day of the tragic
assassination, trying to get home from
school, in a city paralysed. Learning
what it means to be stranded.
The day the towers fell, horrified,
watching from home, some miles
out of Boston. Learning, without
wanting to, how easily far can
become farther, brown can become
browner. A different difference.
The day I moved, rebooting life
in a tiny rental, trying not to hear the
ticking of the clock. Learning that
alone doesn’t mean the arithmetic
of one person inside four walls, but
the square of all the reasons why.
Shouldn’t memory games have hidden
algorithms for winning? Get out of jail
cards? The day I was given a choice that
wasn’t a choice. When I should have
walked away. Taken the loss. Learning
hard what happens when you fuck up.
Always spinning back to that chorus
like the song on the radio. Funny
how sounds echo in an empty house
as if they too have come a long, long
way, as if they too, diminished,
are looking for the nearest escape.
Learning that when life stops, life
keeps going, but when you move
on, the grey tide withdraws, the sky
feels scrubbed, the sun is an altered
light, but you remain where you were,
where you were stopped. That day.