When I was younger I collected odd things to remind me of moments--snapshots of friends, napkins with signatures and doodles, pieces of ribbon, Roland Orzabal's comb, dried flowers hung upside down by a pushpin, newspaper clippings, mini bottles, candy wrappers, concert ticket stubs, restaurant receipts--mementos that littered the shelves and wall above my Curtis Mathes rent-to-own stereo. I spent many hours mooning the past, the moments that seemed pivotal to existence, the items that made me. Just a blip on the timeline later, what made me became dust collectors, muddied up the little space I had, complicated what I'd become. I didn't think much of it, as I shook the folded trash bag, rushing it with air to create an opening for their burial. I pulled them roughly, tore from beneath pins, raked from shelves, and turned my head as the dust flew and the bag dropped heavy. I paused as I held the comb. It still smelled foolish, like '80's hair mousse.
Next poem: Empty Sockets