Tessa, About That Girl, Queenie

Isn’t it awkward, thinking back,
how you’ve changed? Well, at least, you’ve
lost that twangy voice. Which parts
forgotten, then retrieved?
Still, the past is a steep hill.
Maybe it’s the climbing, but as if ascendancy
is really a slipping back.

If I watched that girl, in a skimpy dress,
wearing gold hoop earrings, I’d think
about the other one–the same name–
and why she had gotten jealous,
why she was the one who had gone
to Mount Ophir with the guys
and I was left behind.

Things might have been real different,
probably. And I wouldn’t be who I am,
or I’d be eating lots of tofu, or
I might have been lost in Alcatraz;
any number of things could’ve altered
the path. And I could still change, even if
it is less likely now.

Prompt: I thought I’d write, and then I did. It’s strange, this writing feels like an adventure, not knowing where it’ll lead one to. If you gave up writing, then what? You’d miss out on an adventure, that’s what. And if you’re a writer you’d probably be using bits of material from your real life. But maybe just the essence of an event, or non-event, from the past. So let what remains from the past show up in your writing. I was also inspired by what Mark Strand said in a poem.

Time tells me what I am. I change and I am the same.
I empty myself of my life and my life remains.
Mark Strand, “The Remains”


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