How I remember it is not how it happened,
I’m sure. Every time I go back to a memory
the light in the room is a bit different,
or people have changed clothes.
Most of us can’t remember our lines.
We’re like a junior high drama class
trying to fake our way through the scene
so we can go to lunch.
Memories are not photographs.
I can recall standing under the lightpost
wrapped in Christmas garland
(the lightpost, that is),
you in your big purple coat
and I with long dark hair –
even on top. It was a long time ago,
but I can still see the flash.
Yet, once my memory begins
to animate the scene, and we are
walking and talking on the streets
of Charlestown in the Christmas cold,
all the years of open invitations
I have seen in your eyes,
all the tears and conversations
and laughter add texture and tone.
We’re standing on both sides of my eyes,
but not as mirror image or still life
(life has never been still for us).
We stood there in the cold for that moment,
long enough for the camera to catch
and then release us to all the other
afternoons where we walked hand in hand,
even when no one had a camera.