Delicately Bold by Caryn Drexl
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the memory of a single thread
What’s its like to die? I wish for one more conversation with you, a soft afternoon of sitting at your knee asking you the questions I felt too unsure to ask before. What was it like losing the love of your life? What was it like losing three children, a country and a war? What was it like to flee, to be a visitor to everyone else’s land? To have children all over the world who forgot you as soon as they were on a plane away from massacre. What was it like to love? To lose a love, to not want another? What are the things I don’t know?
Tell me everything in an afternoon of xalwo and shai. Tell me all the secrets you took with you to your grave. Tell me of your favorite child, tell me of my mother young and married, tell me of her mother, my other ayeeyo. Sing me a story your mother told you as a child. Sing me the stories you sang my father. Just sing to me and let me sit here a while breathing in the perfume you wear and the colors you are so proud to sew into skirts, the hair you faithfully dye red with henna to hide the silver and grey. Just let me sit here a while with you and hold your hands, rest my body against yours and remember what you look like. Just one afternoon together, soft and dreamy and warm again. Did I say life was for the living? You are still alive within me. Even as I forget I remember. Even as I forget, I remember.