What You Are/Were/Are

You know that feeling you get
when you drive down a street
you used to drive down every day,
that you haven’t driven down
for a very
very long
time?
That feeling when everything
seems familiar and the same, but everything
is totally different, because there are
new buildings, new trees,
new signposts, new pavement, new
potholes, new dividers, new
developments. New
everything, but everything
still feels the same.

And the sunlight through the clouds
strikes in just such a way. A flicker,
that sets off a spark of something you
can’t quite put your finger on.
Perhaps it was a spring or summer day,
riding in the passenger seat,
or a conversation on a nearby park bench,
sitting, in a very different body,
but the self-same mind.
A heavy sigh and a deep inhale
of a scent so familiar,
that it hits you, somewhere deep down
in the center of your reptilian brain,
and it flips a switch,
a primordial memory switch,
on a bulb that is too dim
to bring it all into the light.
It lingers there in the shadow on the
tip of the tongue of your amygdala
just waiting
to be forgotten/recalled/forgotten.
Like two sequential notes,
which you’re almost certain
belong to an epic song
you used to know by heart, committed.
You knew every word, every chord,
but now…
you only almost remember. You can’t
seem to dig deep enough to dust off
the dirt covered images of the
countless times you listened to it/
danced to it/sang it out loud. No
recollection of the actual song, which
is just beyond your mind-grasp. If only you
could hold your breath long enough
and make yourself still enough
to dig down deep enough
to where it once lived,
where you know it still lives, with a
faintly beating heart-drum,
but cannot be reached.
And even if it could be reached, it wouldn’t
be the same. It would be a completely
different version
of the same.
It would be a new old feeling.
An old new feeling.
An indescribable sensation of
old-new/new-old/remembered/forgotten/
remembered all at the same time,
and yet, not at all.
All. And not at all.

Do you know that feeling?

Well, that’s what you are.
Were. Are.

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