WHAT THE MIND CAN’T TAKE

On dark days, the mind steals
all it can find, stripping the body
of energy, harvesting the chance
to keep what is meant
to be kept.

Like time
and memory.

I have grown used to the sensation
of take, of weeping I have nothing left,
of standing at the precipice of madness,
my heart a vacuum, my voice depleted
of giving.

I have given so much
to so many, yet still I give

and still the mind takes.

But when I am loving you
in July and we are walking
across the Fort Pitt bridge,
your palm airtight against
my own, I command my eyes
to Memorize this, take it all in—
all of this peeling yellow paint,
our laughter a stone skipping
across the river. If only this bridge
arched a little bit higher, if only
we never had to peel our hands
apart. We could walk forever
that way, suspended in summer,
our voices bouncing from steel beams.

Memorize this, I whisper to myself,
and nothing can take it away from you.

This is how I keep time
and memory—

I take it all in.
You—my brightest day,
the highest height,

are what the mind,

though it tries,

can’t take.

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