About to Lose All Memory of You

by Ken Harnisch

I’m about to lose all memory of you
And the energy to want to see
You in any forum but an album.

I remember when my breath stopped.
Seeing you in a kitchen where a doting
Grandmother once snapped a picture
Of you, sitting at a table, staring
Aloft and thus so beautiful
I couldn’t fathom you were mine.

Even then we were drifting.
The ropes torn from separate boats, the tide picking up
And the wind so violent it assured us both
We were doomed to founder.

And the rational part of me that knew this
Said, “flee,” and the irrational part threw up
A hand and warned me that premature
Ejection was the worst of sins a lover
Can commit. “Stay” ordered the crazed
Side of a mind that knew no better
And never gracefully exited the stage
Anywhere on stockinged feet.

If I had let you go early we might
Today be wondering where the
Other is. You would have a Facebook
Page and mine might be heavy
With the private messages we passed
Speaking of the halcyon days.

And purpled with nostalgia we’d gloss
Over the bad times, the unraveling’s
That presaged our departure, the
Weariness that made it all inevitable
In the end.

I worship you now as I write of us,
But that is a passing spate of clouds.
Knowing what I know, every little
Apprehension I entertained back then
In my quieter or drunken moments
Came to pass, and I’m sure in yours
I was no saint either.

So be it.
I like to think we were unfair to each other
And to rationalize our discords refuse
To see the better angels of the other’s
Nature for fear we’d both know what we’re missing.

Seeing this light alone, though, gets wearying.
I might mutter a hopeless prayer that you send
A signal, a feather, a snort, a sigh,
To make me stop this long, lonely process
Of putting you in some dusty corner of
A cobwebbed closet
And forgetting where I stowed you a
Week from now.

I’m almost at that age, you know.


Posted on 07/30/2014
Copyright © 2024 Ken Harnisch

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Felicia Aguilar on 08/02/14 at 04:00 AM

This is heartbreaking and beautiful, made me tear up a little.

Posted by A. Paige White on 08/04/14 at 06:46 PM

This makes me cry because I'm living it. Walking past someone in a frog costume out the door of a church, to have a white feather blow directly between us after church one Sunday morning my spirit was informed I'd live these words I'd not read yet. It broke my heart then as these words remind me now, when I first knew. Thanks.

Posted by Chris Sorrenti on 08/04/14 at 10:59 PM

Another epic story poem, Ken, and a killer ending to boot. A signal, a feather, a snort, a sigh...indeed!

Posted by Alison McKenzie on 08/06/14 at 11:08 PM

I understand more clearly than I ever want to think about even. Thank you for penning it.

Posted by Alison McKenzie on 08/06/14 at 11:08 PM

I understand more clearly than I ever want to think about even. Thank you for penning it.

Posted by George Hoerner on 08/09/14 at 08:32 PM

A wonderful write that brings so many memories to the fore. I still carry a love form the time I was 18. And we still exchange emails though never speak of our feelings. Both married and 3000 miles apart. I suspect her part as always just been as a highschool friendshiop. But mine...

Posted by Kate Demeree on 10/23/14 at 12:34 PM

It's been awhile since I have been here.... but wow... it makes me sad to read this. Somehow though resignation, and sadness mingle together. I seem to hear someone saying, look back in a year and see if you are even the same person you are at this moment. Well done Poetman

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