A memory waiting to be remembered
taps me politely on the shoulder first,
then shoves me hard –
pulling my hair, tugging my shoelaces,
forcing me back into a pile of my past
where I land on the soft July grass
that grew me like my mother’s body,
bringing me into the world a second time.
This is where I was reborn and raised:
this little college campus that held me in its heart,
swaddled me in the warmth of its people and its poetry,
fed me Ohio sunshine and baptized me in campfire smoke.
I watched sixteen years unfold in the span of two weeks.
I watched my feet grow farther and farther away
as I grew into the sky like a vine twisting its way up a tree,
the only growth spurt that ever mattered.
Those fourteen days, like the fourteen lines of a sonnet,
coming together to tell the story of my renaissance period.
I am not sure I believe in an afterlife,
but if it exists, I hope mine is this:
fourteen students and a writing instructor
biting the tips of their pens,
sucking the world in through their teeth
and blowing it out like cigarette smoke,
the kind that’s harmless as water vapor,
the kind you could never, ever die from.