I’ve wanted to preserve the past
in tiny little dioramas,
the curator of some mental museum,
impeccably aligned artifacts depicting experiences pristine,
preserved out of time,
so when I’d access them
(later, always later)
I could say yes, people have loved me;
not all has been for naught.

But this preservation is painful, though it is not quite killing.
Embalming your experiences in formaldehyde,
crunching up splints through beetle bones to make them stand erect,
is an affront to nature, who would recycle all your organic matter,
take it all and rot away, to later build anew.

I’d think to one day come back to it all,
with a grey beard, able to appreciate the longings,
the fun times, the bewilderment, the heartbreak,
scientifically, like some wistful connoisseur,
and read the expertly written placards and sigh, and say
“Ahh, yes. This is what it was.”

But your life is a garden, an ever-green experiment in mess and photosynthesis.
Blow out the dusty hallways of your cloistered past,
smash the glassy cabinets built of time, and
let the roof cave in on your sordid exhibition,
so that the sun may shine in once more—
so you may grow again.

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