Landscape and Memory

You have heard it said

You are what you eat

This is true, and you are

     Where you have been; as well


Just as the foods you consume

Gram by gram, build up your mass

So do the engrams of your memory

     Built up by the places you have been


I see the ghost of myself

In the streets that I walk

Reflections of me walking past  

     In the streets I have walked all of my years


Me, in the glass of a storefront

My imprint in the textured handle

In the palm of my hand, opening

     Toward the future places I will be


Memory is a tapestry made of

Neurons, spindle-fibers stretched

Woven on the skein of life

     Proteins patterned on the loom


This is not fate that I am twisting in

Just the force of direction, of purpose

Following threads, the loop of a circuit

     The electrons repeat and carry our signals     


Memory is an electric cocoon

From which we emerge, fresh  

Newly Formed by old imperatives

     Shaped in the places we have lived


Listen to the laughter on my street

Echo, you are not so lonely now

Recall the scent of lilac in my garden

     Spring returns; even in the midst of winter


Taste and you remember

The bitter and the sweet

The movements of our lives

     The places and the moments, the people we have been        


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