(This poem is brought to you by walking in the early morning twilight,
And keeping L. A. Woman by the record player)
I never get up this early any more
Unless it’s in a panic
When my eyes open and it’s still dark
And I slip out of bed
It’s too early to have perspective
So instead I feel the full loss
Of all those stupid photos I stupidly deleted
Like someone’s mom, too eager
Trying to clean things up in a frenzy.
And they’re really gone.
What’s left: an empty album,
And flashes across my mind.
A chalky M in a mountain, framed just so,
A sort of selfie monogram.
California is already a haunted place, a dream place, a weird place,
A place for higher weirdness and high points, high lights, high hikes
A chalky M, walls of a room I stayed in that my mom might have
(She hadn’t; she and my dad just passed through)
Along the road, western light. (Like in Wales. I lost some of those photos too.)
And not only the photos, my concentrated memories,
But the love mitigated, or spiked, into likes
Ephemeral comments that I thought would be saved forever
Things I saw and did that I let fly by
That I didn’t have to remember because I could revisit
I should have put them all in poems.