Thursday, June 30, 2016

Dan Scharlack - Memory



  When finally I realized that I’d forgotten 
I could not recall what it was I’d left behind. 
How do we start to search for something 
when we’re not sure what it is we’re looking for? 

I don’t know the answer to that, 
But, in my case, I remember the walking. 

I remember walking through sleepless nights, 
down boulevards, avenues, and alleys, 
up stairwells stained with urine and smoke, 
and through mountain passes dusted with twilight. 
I remember walking through fog, and snow, and oceans, 
through concert halls, laundromats, and churches, 
through fantasies, dreams, and songs, 
my feet floating six inches off of the ground. 
Over family members, friends, and lovers, 
seeking pleasures whose lease was too short to bear their cost. 
Through caves, waterfalls, and subway tunnels 
whose stone walls hummed with the glow of fluorescent bulbs. 

But I could not remember what it was I’d forgotten. 

And I felt the soreness in my legs 
the dizziness in my head 
and the unlocatable, undefinable, 
unrelenting longing in my heart 

But I could not remember what it was I’d forgotten. 

And I cursed my head, 
And I cursed my heart, 
And I cursed my legs and feet, 
As I realized they were leading me 
in the same damn circles over and over and over again 

And I could not remember what it was I’d forgotten. 

But my feet knew better than I did. 
Because these circles were a spiral 
that moved further and further and further in on itself.

At the center of the spiral 
all of the circles collapsed, 
the arches of my feet collapsed, 
my legs under my hips collapsed, 
my torso, arms, head, body, heart, mind, and will, collapsed. 
I never remembered what it was I’d forgotten, 
At the center of the spiral 
the one who was trying to remember 
and what was forgotten 
collapsed 
into a 
single 
point. 

And finally the walking stopped. 

Then, 
though there was no longer any separation, 
between me and what I’d forgotten, 
and for no reason I can understand, 
Somehow, the thing that I’d forgotten 
came and picked me up off of the ground. 
And though I will never know the name of the thing that held me 
I can tell you exactly how it feels to be lifted
And what it’s like to walk for the very first time.

- Dan Scharlack 2012


 

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