the mere exposure effect

i am to trying to remember you

and how you looked before you were gold like your wedding ring

and i am trying to remember          or trying to forget

how you looked at me and how it burnt like the iron at dress rehearsals

i am an amnesiac home from war   you are a sailor lost at sea

and i am trying to remember your skin when you smiled


but i am trying to remember you

at seventeen – at fifteen – at nineteen –

your fingers on your father’s gun             your hand over my wrist

and you, smiling at me as you stick needles in your skin

to blossom flowers of night ink and charcoal

but that never really happened either         and I go to the beginning –  


so i am trying to remember you

on your father’s couch                at the altar

raising hands in supplication, in protection, in fear

or you at the desk next to me tracing circles in rotting wood

and talking about god                 but you lost his number

but it’s all static anyways, like you’ve turned up the radio to drown me out

and i’m seeing blind in the light     like the sun burnt out from the inside


and i don’t remember why i wanted to remember you at all. 


By Olivia Lewis

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