The Persistence of Her Memory

When she lost her memories of adulthood,
she was seventeen again,
but in a body that had seen several oil changes.
She grieved for the second time for the grandparents she had lost,
except all at once;
she grieved for the friends who had grown up or grown apart,
not understanding why they couldn’t pick up where they had left off.
She read her own journal and recognized not the person in it,
for she was a stranger,
even to herself.
Every day she lived,
she would gain one day of memory back—
live a day, gain a day—
so that the old was as real to her as the new.
She spread old memories like a receiving blanket around all who’d known her
that year of nineteen-hundred-and-ninety-nine,
wrapping everyone up in what they thought they’d forgotten—
some queer little thing that would make them smile in remembrance,
illuminating a generation of people through shared nostalgia—
of Friday nights at Blockbuster and posing for Glamour Shots in the mall
when half the girls wanted to look like Claudia Schiffer,
of making fun of after-school special reruns and Harlequin romances,
of quiet libraries and talking on the telephone,
of politics not infiltrating every conversation,
of the era of Jesus freaks who wore the WWJD bracelets
and carried their Bibles on top of their textbooks,
of working at Baskin Robbins on Saturday mornings
and not finishing the ice cream cakes fast enough,
of high school graduation with Sarah McLachlan’s “I Will Remember You”
and “Time of Your Life” by Green Day,
of her dreams of having a Little Lucy and a Little Ricky
with a man who looked like Prince William,
and a million other little things that had marked her teenage years,
had marked her.
Her husband waited for that day—
seven years into the future—
when she would remember the day she had fallen in love with him,
but time created new memories,
and she fell for him all over again,
for she could neither wait for time nor pass it,
but rather,
surpass it.

Fiction Friday: Novelines from the Book

Autumn in the Deep South wasn’t a celebration of the changing seasons–a riot of color–but a requiem of the dying summer played in grayscale.

The eve of the New Millennium was the era of “Jesus freaks,” of WWJD bracelets, & “True Love Waits” rings, & the dawn of the prosperity gospel.

Caitlin saw the elders like a box of chocolates—they looked uniform, nestled in their suits, but inside, they were unique & wonderfully made.

Though Caitlin collected her crushes like Barbie dolls, the thought of ever sharing her husband was like sharing her soda with her friends.

I said a little prayer to God this time, praying that my Mormon soldier wouldn’t forget me when he left this place.

Maxwell Manor was David’s estate. We had always been guests there, & I wondered if it would become our home now & inheritance later.

Knowing that suicide wasn’t the unpardonable sin she had grown up believing it to be would soon free Mother, as it would Patrick.

David could do Patrick’s temple work next year, finally releasing his spirit to marry another woman. The power had been his all along.

Mother & David became celibate in the shadow of committing themselves to the Church, as the sun of a spiritual new dawn shined upon them.