My dad used to tell me
That waking up in the middle of the night
meant missing the old house that we once lived in,
although I never remembered exactly
the bricks lining the windows, or the carpet
I set on fire when I was six.
I don’t know what I was thinking back then.
I can never remember too much of my past.
The trees, and the bees, the fleas on my neighbor’s dog:
All memories buried, gathering dust, hidden in the fog
of the here and now. Like a haze, it filters through my vision
and I am not fast enough to see anything as it flies by.
I remember the bird that you caught in your hands, the flapping wings
and the sound of its echoing rang through the cul-de-sac and my ears.
I remember closing the glass door on your fingers, and I remember how I cried too.
That night I tried to talk to you through the vents, like how we used to, like how
we combined our efforts to catch a glimpse of real magic, of Santa Claus,
of me by your bedside but you thought it was a dream.
We dug up rocks, and sticks, and hid in the shed that broke my front tooth.
And that wasn’t the last time I’ve bit my tongue.
I said, “I did it on purpose,” but I lied.
I didn’t know what it meant back then and
I wish that you would believe me. I wish the memories stuck,
like the pieces of tape you pressed against my skin,
preventing the fake wounds from reopening.
Can you see me now, in your lucid dreams?
Or am I just a shadowy figure floating between scenes?
Excerpts of memories will find me like déjà vu.
And when you’re thinking of me, know I’m thinking of you.