Slipping Through the Fingers of Time

Like sands through the hourglass, I slip away.

I could never get years right. That’s why I was so bad in history class. Now I fumble over the numbers like turning pebbles over in my hand, trying to sort them by color. The past becomes fresh in my mind and the present is a dream that may or may not be lucid. Words have slipped past my lips before I could rein them back in. I grabbed a bag and left the tension, but it never left me.

I forgot my wife was pregnant. I forgot that I had two insurances at one time, and that the first had already expired. I think I almost forgot I had a baby. Almost. That truth could never leave me, and the swelling in my breasts reminds me when I’ve been out of her company for too long.

Sometimes I’m still in college, sometimes I’m still in high school. When I’m in a calm swell, the freshest memory may be an old one, predating the last two chapters of my life. I risk losing my footing as the sands of time give way under the pressure, and I become vulnerable. My mother’s or ex’s faces become new again, and in the haze I feel myself begin to reach out. I stub my toe on something solid, or maybe the fog rolls back over- I can’t tell if this feels like a dream, but I recognize that I’m further in the timeline.

Lord, don’t let me forget.

This is my punishment for leaving it behind me and not turning back-

it turned on me.

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