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You are the places that knock
on my senses, asking
to be remembered.

There are streets
I’ve walked on, disarmed,
leaning on a sense of self
distilled from the fate that
is happening to everyone else
like ghostwritten stories
that use their names
for characters
as they sleepwalk their cues
and sleeptalk their lines

and open doors that elicit
a wariness of being overtaken
by questions whose answers
can undo all that I’ve done
to keep my fires burning
and get me to places where
I once imagined remembering
would be a pleasure,
soft light scenes with subtitles
and saxophone music,
not a stumbling down
an unknown flight of stairs
towards a confrontation
with the old, in-progress
versions of myself and
the signs that point to
choice being illusion,
the sky had been painted,
and the streetlights
had been fed by footsteps
that didn’t really know
how to find the dream’s exit.

“Youth” by photographer Sergey Piltnik


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