We Forget

what have i remembered?

in my seventeen years of life

many things, surely

walking on dirt roads in a summer haze

with the people i love

the split second of fear

that crosses my heart

before i enter a stage

the triumph that radiates through me

when i finish my performance

the sweetness of my ice cream after dinner

the gripping frustration

that comes with lates nights spent over essays, homework, testing

the warmth of falling asleep

after laughing, smiling, and dancing

until blisters lined my feet

both the good

and the bad


what have i forgotten?

many more things, surely

how to solve differential equations

what birthday presents i have gotten my friends

the nightmares i had as a child

what it felt like

listening to sinatra for the very first time

my grandfather’s voice

looking at the world

through a child’s eyes

finding a story, an adventure

in the most mundane things

both the good

and the bad


what made me forget?

and how sad it is that i have forgotten?

that i cannot remember

how i felt or what i thought

just last monday

the sensation

of rushing through the streets downtown

is as foreign as you are, to me

that the warmth of your hand must always fade away

that a shared lunch or dinner

will blend into one of many

that the sweet or salty or bitter or spicy

flavors on my tongue

will always be replaced by another

that what i feel

changes

with every passing second


how much of the blame can i assign to myself?

should i point to my neurons?

chastise them for firing just enough

for me to miss a memory

but not enough

to remember what i miss

should i point to my hopes, fears, and dreams?

for choosing to hold onto this second

and losing the next

for clinging onto some victories

or smiles or hugs or phobias or trials

over another

or do i feel anger and jealousy

that i’ve caused myself to miss more memories than i’ve meant to

that i want more memories than i can create

that i have different memories than what i crave

that my nights fixated on chemistry problems

my weekends spent rushing from meeting to meeting

my days spent in solitude

are what make up my memories

rather than living freely

rather than simple walks to the grocery store

or sipping coffee with others

or falling into a dreamless sleep


what can i do to remember more?

this is perhaps the only good question i’ve asked

in my seventeen years of life

and first i thought

many things, surely

make your brain stronger,

eat healthier,

record everything in your journals

but to me, there is really only one thing i can do:

make memories that matter

live my life with a child’s eyes

create experiences that will stick,

that will mean something to me

forget the burdens

enjoy life as it rushes by

and jump into the current myself

and trust

that everything i love

will find its place in time


- Kaitlyn Fa


Cover Photo Source: https://wsimag.com/culture/30643-the-features-of-mental-images-in-the-art-of-memory