I wanted to return to some imaginary life
based on a collection of unstable memories I thought were real.
I would gaze fondly on those memories and dwell in their hazy light,
hoping they would do more than flicker in and out of my thoughts
like quiet visitors shapeshifting from one identity to another,
never staying long enough to keep honest company with me.
Memories are never real, and they don’t change the fact
that everything went south on me in slow degrees
due to the causal forces of my own behavior.
There was no point in trying to reinvent something
from misunderstood origins.
It was better to go it alone in the here and now.
Eric Stephenson is a Professor of English at PPSC.