Insufficient (Mem)ory

Some memories are relived firsthand.
Oftener, an amalgamation is extracted
From various similar files,
Saved by the same program,
Within a set date range.

The master wears down,
Fades and browns,
Like my image in the mirror in the unlit room
Above the staircase with no rail
When the sun goes out.

Slanted ceilings and room divisions;
Shelves containing: First sobs — love and loss
Documents toward a burgeoning interest.
Illicitness enhanced
By virtue of innocence.

Eventually the remastered master wears down,
Leaving only the time-stamped access logs,
Which evince a compulsive pattern of repeat views.
(I’m all alone, and have nothing else to do)
I was left alone too much.

It was a habit forming.
It was a sad decoy.
It was experimental rite.
It was a sinful secret.
It was a holy place, profaned

There is no other temple,
Yet I am anxious to exit in an orderly fashion
And pretend to be saved,
While absent-mindedly directing the disaster flick
From deep underground.

I do revisit the old place, from time to time.
It’s like returning to the garden after the fall
And it’s never quite how I remembered it.
The plot seems smaller now
(So why am I not bigger?)

I sneak past guards,
Crawl through tall grass,
Catch a scent like rotting fruit — 
And discover a file with no access date;
A burning voice saying I am on holy ground.

Like what you read? Give Oliver Gifford a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.