A poem for those with mending hearts

You round the corner home
and, all at once, feel yourself straining
to bring back the memories
you’ve worked so hard to erase.

Smudged, barely legible,
hastily marked up
to hide the moments
too sweet,
too searing,
to remember.

Now, you want them all.
The sweetness, the levity,
the claustrophobia,
the panic.

Now, you want to cradle them
gently, in your lap,
as you think just how,
how hollow you felt

telling this near-stranger’s earnest face
where you went to school,
how many siblings you have,
how you’d “love to see him again.”

Only now do I see this hollowness
as the sacred space we need—
fertilized by the sweetest,
most eviscerating memories—

to make room
tenderly, patiently,
for all of the memories
we most deserve to make.

The featured image is a photograph by the esteemed Mallory Morrison, which you can purchase at her website here. This piece, in particular, is called “Rebirth”, and includes the note, “We may return to where it all started and forge a new path.” Love.

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