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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