The fear, of course,
is if I look too long at this photograph of us,
I might entirely forget what it felt like to be in it.
Even now, I see through the eyes of the photographer.
Even now, I am on the wrong side of the camera.
How jarring to know that it is
my head that rests against your broad shoulder,
my arm that wraps around your slim waist,
my skin that dimples beneath your hesitant touch,
but not remember—really remember—how it all felt.
When the mind remembers, but the body forgets.
How disconcerting to realise that most every
memory I have of that last time we were together—
your scent of soap and water and aftershave,
the chill of the Autumn wind upon my bare clavicles,
how sunlight set aglow the amber in your soft, dark curls—
is intellectual, not emotional.
To see is to remember; to remember is to forget.
The more you try to recollect; the less you will recall.
The tighter you try to hold on; the looser your grip becomes.
One day, I will remember and forget even
the gentle heat of your body against mine.
Allison Thung is a writer from Singapore. She writes for the same reason she knits – to make sense of what would otherwise just be loose threads of thought and yarn. Allison has poetry published and forthcoming in Eunoia Review and Better Than Starbucks. Website: https://www.allisonthung.com.