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Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Landscape and Memory

You have heard it said
You are what you eat
This is true, and you are
Where you have been; as well

Just as the foods you consume
Gram by gram, build up your mass
So do the engrams of your memory
Built up by the places you have been

I see the ghost of myself
In the streets that I walk
Reflections of me walking past  
In the streets I have walked all of my years

Me, in the glass of a storefront
My imprint in the textured handle
In the palm of my hand, opening
Toward the future places I will be

Memory is a tapestry made of
Neurons, spindle-fibers stretched
Woven on the skein of life
Proteins patterned on the loom

This is not fate that I am twisting in
Just the force of direction, of purpose
Following threads, the loop of a circuit
The electrons repeat and carry our signals     

Memory is an electric cocoon
From which we emerge, fresh  
Newly Formed by old imperatives
Shaped in the places we have lived

Listen to the laughter on my street
Echo, you are not so lonely now
Recall the scent of lilac in my garden
Spring returns; even in the midst of winter

Taste and you remember
The bitter and the sweet
The movements of our lives

The places and the moments, the people we have been