There is always going to be a little part of me missing…
in my mother’s womb from her last push,
under my sister’s fingernails from our fights,
a pool of tears my best friend has collected,
and a fragment of my soul with the man I love.
Most of the love I’ve had in my life I didn’t know was there
until hindsight hit me like noon sunlight.
The teacher who said with conviction “Deborah, you are enough.”
My sister always giving me the last chocolate chip cookie.
The first time in 19 years my dad came to see me on stage
and my mom’s packed lunches that I used to give away.
These events were love, and I remember them gratefully.
Do I also exist the same way in somebody else’s memory?
I am made up entirely of memories,
sketches of people who have been around me
and meant enough to become some of who I am,
living cells of the past growing inside me.
They pump through my heart valves,
dance underneath my membranes,
sometimes they evaporate from my skin
to make room for more important ones.
Memories are everywhere,
carried in the smoke from a forest fire,
passed from tongue to tongue,
rustling like secrets in trees,
or hopping from one generation to another.
We are actually one massive being, overlapping to infinity.
Six degrees of separation and one degree to a shared moment,
memories with each other kept for later,
bits of other beings changing the way we think, believe, act, speak.
The spaces that are left in me;
the parts that are missing are filled with somebody else,
and that’s all we are – other people’s fractured reflections,
coming together to make each of us whole.