Who Never Grew Up

Memory is a cruel mistress
Who comes bearing the old bones
You buried in a corner of the yard.
She demands proper rites, a recognition
Of the sacred refuse.
She makes a reliquary of your shame,
Polishes it to catch the light.
Memory is a puppeteer
Twining her limbs around the skeleton
And shrouding it in flesh as if
New before returning the departed one to
Your embrace
Where you can feel the mass
Pressing again
And again
Against your living heart.
She pulls the string
At its back to play a phrase you know,
As if vibrations from a throat to your ears
As if real
(Was that his voice in the corridor?)
Is it any wonder we believe in ghosts?
Nimble is the hand of memory,
Steering the doll’s feathered fingers
To trace the arch of your lips,
Willing you to hunger
Then feeding you on what’s left
When the thread frays:
Colored light
And air,
The feast of lost boys.

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