“Muscle Memory” (a draft)
In memory of my beloved sister,
Kristen Marie Mintler
February 8, 1981 – June 8, 2003
The last two mornings I’ve slept late,
pulled back easily again and again
into the fiction of a narrative dreamscape,
—as if dreams are a distraction—
and my conscious mind can’t escape
its own competing unconscious ban
against a realization: my recent heart pain
is only the heart muscle heavy with the weight
of what today marks as a twenty-year heartache.
Like all muscles, the heart never forgets
the exercise of grief that relaxes and tenses,
and with every pulse and throb beats against
the emptiness of your absence
in both the present and the future tense
since your existence is bound to the historical past,
for as long as my dreams and heartbeat lasts,
until death finally pull me out of time’s clasp.
Thus, this intangible memory muscle memory explains:
this now seventy-three-hundred day heartache,
that resurges in full force every June 8th.
This broken-yet-still-beating heart will remember—
the unconscious prevent the awakened self from forgetting —
a grief so familiar in its ever constant presence
that it underlies every single day of every single year
since your death took you from me. From now. From here.