residues of memory

N. Nagy

I will fill my lungs, balloon them with air. I will pinch my nose and dare to leap into the depths of truth. I will give myself, mind and body, to the currents, letting it pull me where they may. But, oh shit, am I scared.

 

It’s photos that bubble up first, the collection of them through our years together and I guess it makes sense that it’s not the moments I had with you that conjure but the photos that I’m left with because that’s what’s real and it’s what I have to hold on to as tangible because I need something of you to hold and memories are like a mist that escapes your grasp when you reach for it and, as you know, too, from proofing my lectures for me -- I was so proud to have your touch to those, by the way, and your touch to all of me, of course -- as you know memories can be fabricated, turned into a hodgepodge of reality / fantasy / realityfantasy like: did you kiss me in the forest, did you stop on the trail to take hold of me and press your lips and body to mine as I clutched at your arms willing them to never let go or was it in the alleyway with coffee still lingering on our tongues or is the mist of memory tickling the truth here and fucking with the circuitries of my brain, fabricating images and sensations out of desire alone but even so, even so, with the photos I don’t have to worry, the photos ARE truth that you were there with me once and that I could make you smile -- I did, I have evidence -- and damn it, I want to make you smile again, you were happy with me, do you remember like the photographs, do you think of those happy times I wonder this all the time and I attended a talk at Princeton with Duane Michals who knew about proof and knew truth could be found inside of a darkroom in a mix of chemicals and I desperately wanted you to be there next to me our seats so close like they were one so our legs pressed together tight like we are one body, three legs or sitting on your lap if you’d let me, your hands on, your lips on, your fingers in as the old photographer shared his career, shared the image with his scrawl below that read:

This photograph is my proof. There was that afternoon when things were still good between us, and she embraced me.

and you’ll know that I do as I always have and it’s not just the talk that I wanted you there for but the growing list that spools for miles now of all the things that would make you smile like did you know there is a School of Disembodied Poetics and I have some puns, too, and I tell you all of these in my head, of course, and we laugh and I laugh because you laugh because it’s beautiful when your guard is down and I’ll always be grateful that I got to see you in moments with your guard down because it’s rare and I treat it as a priceless gift and these are my truths and, I know, I let the truths spill once before but in a meanspirited way that time and I know it hurt you because I wanted it to hurt you but it’s a hurt you deserved because you always forget that I am here and real so I strike at you to remind you, to scream to you to lookseefeel me so now I just need to hear that you feel it that you think of me that you have lists and photographs for me, too

Let it spill, will you please?

Don’t hold it silent.

Let it all spill out.

For me.

It’s time.

We can skip the bio, right? It’s optional, right?

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