Poem: Persistence

Persistence

What time is it on Dali’s clocks? Can’t tell.

Persistence of memory is perverse—some things

are engraved in my mind as I think they happened,

but not as they really were. (I know this because

my sister tells the same, but not the same, stories.)

I’ve told my memories in certain ways for years,

but are they memories or stories of memories?

Events reel out in my mind, with jerks and jumps—

no persistence of vision smooths the frames into film.

Persistent anxieties flicker by: the projector may stick

and memory and executive function burn away

from inside to outside edge—would I know?

I’ve heard that if I can’t remember where I put my keys, that’s okay,

but if I can’t remember what keys are for, then my internal clocks

are melting. Memories persistent, but wrong. Memories gone.

I remember, therefore I am. Maybe.

Lisa Bolin Hawkins

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