Supple Strongrooms

I heard a rumor,

but it couldn't possibly be true. I heard that

regrets wanted to carve into your skin

as wrinkles,

memories

as liver spots.

They are the kind of creatures that want to be forgotten.

That's why

I’m the kind of guy who represses them.

Unhealthy, I know, but .

I still tell them to etch into my flesh with

a taste, a sound

a smell, a marker

just in case I want to  re-embrace.

 

I can hear and taste

my last three lovers:

Candice was of

candy and bubblegum pop,

Margo, of

burning bourbon and punk rock, and

Jeanette—

bursting pomegranates and smooth jazz.

 

I remember my last two homes:

Brooklyn was of chipping paint and block parties,

bustling speakers and street sleepers.

This memory always goes hazy, ending with

late night gunshots,

but then there was Queens:

rustic with warm wooden walls and

the scent of pastries that plumed from rising bread—

back from when my family loved living together,

before slight screams and broken ties.

when floorboards moaned in pleasure,

alone.

 

I remember the feeling of reading my first poem.

The large crowd

ripped air from my lungs,

they almost made me trip over my words.

My heart could’ve had

a shouting match with any stadium in the world.

Such a feeling was accompanied by

sweetened saliva.

 

These memories

leave a minty chill in my chest.

I try my best to shove them in the back of my head, but

I can still feel them

screaming through every follicle of my flat top

things like,

“I happened, I mattered,

what's wrong with me,

don’t forget me, please.”

they plead

the same way I did with that crowd,

the same way I did in Queens and Brooklyn,

the same way I did with Jeanette, with Margo,

with Candice.

 

I heard a rumor that regrets wanted to

carve themselves into your skin as wrinkles

and your memories as liver spots

We shouldn't  let our past

carve us the wrong way.

You have to believe that

we should grow old with grace.

We have too many crowds to scream at

too many homes to squat in,

too many lovers to meet.

I try to step through my city streets

Calm in knowing

I’m locking these thoughts up for good.


 

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