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Perpetual  Present


I try to memorize him

with the soft pads of my fingertips.

Closing my eyes

and slowly tracing

the cheekbone’s rise and gleam

the moist, fragile skin around the eye

the jawbone

square, angled, tight

roughened by the day’s relentless growth.


I will my heart into my fingertips

and move them through the soft curling

hair on the broad chest

rising and falling

rising and falling over the heart.

My hand moves down the hard belly

And I find

I cannot remember,

in every detail,

the line of his face

I touched only a moment ago.

It has already begun to fade.


And I had wanted to hold it forever.


He strokes my arm

runs his broad fingers

down the naked curve of my back

over the smoothness of my thigh

draped across him.

Is he trying to memorize me also?


We cannot hang on to this moment

Even knowing it is the last moment.

Life pulls us

like a great tidal wave

sweeping us forward

dragging us into the perpetual present.

Our memories of this moment

will change and be shaped

by new desires and disappointments.


And I will forget I knew even this.


Oriah ©1995

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