How to Chase the Future (a slam poem)

each day my phone reminds me where I was a year ago.

I reminisce –

thinking I was smarter, nicer, prettier, younger “then” –

and for a minute I stop to share these memories.

with myself, my followers, my phone.

and I turn them- my memories – into something of  a show

something to brag and boast about

something and someone I used to be

someone who is now history,

someone who is… dead

dead.

I am not jealous of the dead.

I am not jealous of the lost.

the ones who are stuck in the memories.

the ones who we strive to be better for – because the fact remains that we –

were not good enough “then”

I think about the word “then” like a railroad crossing

the light doesn’t have to blink for me to slow down – I just do it automatically

“then” is like him

it is a one-word memory

it is triggering

it is a shotgun – no ammo – all recoil

it is – lost loves

and past lives

because you can’t hear the word “then” and not think of a memory

so we generalize it.

“then”

a time when freedom meant something to them

“them”

someone other than ourselves

“them”

an enemy labeled he, she, them

labeled

“him”

a friend, a lover, a parent

“her”

the same

“them”

someone we often forget because they were only on our minds back “then”

“then”

you see “then” is a shotgun

no ammo

all recoil

then is the trigger waiting to be pulled

“then”

I don’t envy who I was

but as long as I am stuck looking at “then”

racing toward the past as though I was chasing the future

as long as I am stuck remembering “then”

have I even changed at all?

 

 

2 thoughts on “How to Chase the Future (a slam poem)”

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