Memory Hangover – penned 2014

Memory Hangover

 

I opened up the magnum of memorabilia that is
Life, until death did us part
And let the warm taste of remembered love
Fill my mouth, overflow my lips and spill onto my chest.

 

As it soaked into my skin near my breastbone
It felt heavier than before
When it was a living thing
Infused with the daily breathing in of you

 

I traced the line of your jaw on the screen
Looked deep into your brown lively eyes
And fell backwards in time
Like a drunken sailor on first shore leave

 

As I fell, images flashed past my mind’s eye
Sex on the beach (and not in a cup)
A fight in an alley in a downpour
People-watching from balconies, making up their lives in snippets

 

Broken bones and torn flesh in a hospital bed
Pale freckled face awash in computer screen back-light
Frolicking with the dogs in the pasture with frost
Hands on my shoulders and a kiss on the head

 

It is an old-time carousel slide show that lives in my brain
Locked tight, unmoving, until release becomes necessary
To let grief seep out through selected pores
So as not to overwhelm the universe with the heaviness

 

Curled up on the floor of my memory, eyes open wide
Dry heaving up love, tears, laughter and pain
I realize I have done the previously thought unimaginable
Lived, without you by my side

 

It looks different though, from out here
Than it did from beside you back there
Hindsight is twenty-twenty it is said
And one cannot un-know the known

 

Like an abandoned tortoise shell
Some of the intricate scaling
That transforms the bony carapace
Swings loosely, revealing the hard truth

 

The love stands unscathed
Even as in acknowledged, willful destruction
I smash the magnum, watch it shatter explosively
And I tiptoe warily through the sharp edges of broken illusion,

 

I swallow two doses of reality, served up by elapsed time
Before I lay my swimming head down on the pillow
And hydrate my weary blood as it pounds in my head
With the waters of understanding

 

And so, when I awaken in the morning
Hopefully I will circumvent
The disorientation, the wincing, the vulnerability
Of a memory hangover of you

~SMK

Inspiration: I finally gained access to an external hard drive, inaccessible for several years. Inside were photos, E-mails written, poems, fragments of a ten-year segment of my life. Even a .wav file, with my late husband saying “To my love and my wife, I love you now, and forever”, recorded over ten years ago. And there were other, more bitter, things.
I’ve never had a hangover personally, don’t get them; but I watched their impact on him for many years.
Thanks go out to a friend, who, a few months ago, in one sentence by a fire-ring, made a hairline crack in the illusion, something that I was too weak to do.

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