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Remember by Kate Light

I know, I need to forget you. But this time of the year makes it so damn hard. I couldn’t, wouldn’t – believe it. Just last year might have probably been the happiest Christmas of my life.

Nina Simone on the radio. Singing how well she’s been, without her man. I get along without you very well, she sings. Of course I do. But oh, oh, oh. That telling line, in the end: to think my breaking heart could kid the moon—

I keep telling myself: be strong, be strong. But I remember being strongest when I was with you. You kept me together. When you left, I shattered into a million pieces, and now I don’t even know where to begin picking up. I’m not even sure if I’ll be able to retrieve all of me.

There, I switched the station. And it’s Joni Mitchell, and I switched again because I couldn’t bear that, I couldn’t. But not before hearing, I really don’t know love at all—

And I never really knew you at all. I thought we were happy. But now, there’s the sense that everything is all out on the table. And I see you standing up, walking away from everything. Walking away from me. But darling—

What is there left to say? There is only Frank Sinatra now, wishing you love, and a poem, to end this night:

Kate Light

when you’re lonely in your room, and the year
is hovering in your eyes; remember, when
he calls you late and sorry, how the tears
had made you wise; how it happened again
and again, pushing you out and pulling you in,
and how his words were wind that fanned your fears;
how he could not help himself, though his skin
was sweet and soft, and though — when you were near —
he was drawn to you; how his body was truth and on-
ly his body was truth — no, no, remember how lost
you felt and how often, and how high the cost,
and how close Love sat next to Lone.
Remember — a whispering in your vein — how keen
the pleasure, but how stabbing deep the pain.

From Open Slowly by Kate Light, published by Zoo Press, 2003.

Comments (2)

  • Cassandra

    I love this. I have delt this many things in my life similiar to this. The constant push and pull effect. I loved someone the same, and it was hard to let go. So very hard.

    With brown eyes I do stare, and seep into your untrusting soul. To tear away from this is a dangerous part of me. Like tug’o war. That smile, that skin. Wrapped in layers of guilt and secret. I had to convince myself to leave, and I did. You are the shark, and I am the convinced prey.

  • D

    I have felt this way once…only once, and I can’t imagine that my soul could take it again. The pain was suffocating, crushing. I think this poem is less about “losing” someone and more about “leaving” someone you desperately love because they’ve deceived you and they’re not good for you. Each tear makes you wiser, being near them is temptation…like a drug. You have to force yourself to remember the cost, the time…in my case over 6 years. I’ve never felt lonliness like I did when I was in love with that person. Now I am stronger…I am not regretful for any of it, I am better from the lessons love taught me. You must be true to yourself in love. When you lose yourself love cannot find you.


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