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When a place burns down to the ground
the memories attached to it
do not go up in flames
the way heavier,
more tangible things do.
The vestiges of the past are made
almost of fresh spun spider silk
right before it dries.
They drape themselves onto
the souls of walls
that may no longer be standing,
and dance in an earnest pattern
of believing and forgiving
of belonging and fleeing
crossing itself every so often
at points that glimmer in the sun
when seen from the right angle,
at the right time of day,
of one’s life,
vibrating in the wind and
ever so delicately holding
the imagination hostage
ruminating past lifetimes
catching glimpses of a future
that has already arrived,
back when it felt natural to assume
that coming back would be
inevitable and effortless
like calling a dear old friend
by his first name
not anticipating that missed chances
could come in many forms:
caved in roofs,
books reduced to ash, and
hallways that have replaced
generations of scholarly voices
with the long, painful journey
to recovering their former selves

the memories survive, pristine
sharper, even, than the real gritty
scenes they were taken from
like a ghost facade
overlaid on the more recent
horror and tears

crossing the threshold, though,
is another story…

Image from Tumblr account Reckless Abandon


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