Losing Memory

How could you know it would be like this:

touching the keys of a piano

and not finding a sound about it,


or the last seconds of a film squeezing itself

through the chokehold of a stubborn

faucet. All a wash. How unwilling you are to let go,


loosening a grip only because memory has dug

into the skin. You wonder if this thought too will vanish

in ethereal smoke: fairytales and slow dancing


alone in the snow, all the magic and brick fodder

mutating the collapsed air around you. Birthdays,

the quiet touch of summer and downtown’s simmer.


When did days wane so quickly—when was sleep so dark?

Ask for a lifetime back in its falling pieces; hold the sunlight

for a little longer as it slips your grasp, long enough


to memorize where you’ve been. All that is left is to tread

in your uneven wakes. You’ve done this all before;

some things you are born to do.


About the author

Brendan Bense is a recent American University graduate with a focus in creative writing and poetry. His work has been featured in Snapdragon Journal and The Crab Orchard Review.

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