This is harvest season.
Instead of corn, I save memories.

I become frugal. I save your atoms under my fingernails
and in places where you smiled.
I find solace in the ubiquity of substance.
Somewhere, I have a piece of your hair.
Breath-borne, left by touch, anything.
I look for the pieces blindly, without pride, as one would
look for a God in sunspots.

Pilgrims sang odes to the growing night.
They knew enough
to worship the sun:
an intangible. They knew.
Speak of the meaninglessness of intangibles to someone
dying in the snow.
You learn to worship what you can't forget.

I can do the same, the singing perhaps, triumphantly even.
It will be comforting to pretend the rhythm of my own blood
is our harmony.
But it will get old.

Someday, the intangibles will become meaningless.
I will stop finding comfort in atoms. I will
stop unearthing old memories,
finding new ones instead in touches,
voices, climax.

One day I will vacuum the rug naked, in full view of a bed warm from two bodies.
One day I will learn to cook, and accidentally mix atoms I used to save in batter I will share. And I'll be too busy being happy to notice.
One day I will see sunspots as sunspots, knowing real divinity for the softening of goosebumps under palms.
One day I will stop worshipping.



from 2008; for reading in Autumn

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