my dad sometimes calls me sponge-head.

it’s a term of endearment, honestly; he doesn’t mean that my skull

is soft or full of holes, but because I seem to soak up

memories and information without intending to, anything that spills

over from the vast pools of knowledge around me. the date of the glorious revolution,

the color scheme of a painting I saw three years ago,

the phone number on the side of house painter’s truck: they stick in my mind

even if I don’t try to keep them there. lucky ghosts.

but there are things I’ve forgotten, like the innumerable pairs of sunglasses I have managed

to lose along the way, never to return. the precise color of my uncle’s eyes–were they

blue, like mine? or more of a greenish-hazel? or the skyline

of New Orleans, before the storm came and replaced roofs with blue tarps

and vines. these few gaps in memory

bother me more

than almost anything else; I want to be able to read the story of my own life back

across the ridges of my palms and the wrinkles on my brain’s cortex, years

from now. the forty minutes I will never recover from the night

my cousin got married still haunt me, long after the hangover faded. and when

it comes to love, I hope

I won’t forget what it means to remember, to

sear those first impressions into my mind with a touch of lightning. some things are far

more important to remember than who built the first pyramid

or when the battle of Marengo was fought.

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