Sunday, November 27, 2011

Day 297.

Home again.

A room overstuffed
With too many reminders
Of a me long-gone
Skin having regenerated entirely
Thousands of times over.
I am at my core, the same.
But different than the person who collected these things
Packed them into colorful bags with broken zippers
Trucked them across borders
Folded them neatly and placed them into blue plastic tubs
With hard lids that snap into place
Or slipped them carefully between wine glasses wrapped in newspaper
To absorb the shock my clumsy body would surely inflict.
Things purchased at weird little shops and Guatemalan markets
Because something about them felt like me
Seemed to sing to others who I am and wish to be
And on display, tell the story of who I've been and who I will become.
But where is that story now? And to whom will it be told?
Are things ever the vehicle? The way to tell that which the heart and hands and voice and body can tell so much more efficiently?
Is it worth it, lugging around these things?

My skin's regenerated so many times since then,
Since we bought that cloth together in Ecuador or Peru
(I'll never remember which.)
Maybe that's why I shrugged when I found it stuffed in a bag that was meant to contain my things
And freely gave it away to a friend.
I was different then.
You don't even know me anymore.
You don't even know this skin, this body. This self.
(Sometimes I think you never did.)

My hair's grown since then.
All this hair, requiring more and more planning, more time under water, hands covered in unscented shampoo, combing out the loose bits
All these strands that remain still carry around the stories,
(not like skin, this hair is still here, resilient, not temporary)
Of that antique, lampshade-less lamp we bought together
Then found a lampshade that fit at Wal-Mart
And I cringed, feeling post-modern and poor,
But put them together anyway
No one for the wiser.

I'll hold on to this hair
To the history it brings with it
Won't shave it off,
Won't shave you off.
But I'll shed these things, this former me.
It's been long enough.

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