You’ve heard the song a thousand times before—
on a laptop at a party, in your earphones
coolly playing when all you can think of
is how to forget the reason why you’re here.

The melody takes shape, the intro spring-boarding
into an atmosphere on whose glittery threshold
you stand and snag your life. You’re waiting for
that illusive paradox: the abandonment of time—

the flowering river of memory, where the self
you’ve always known rises for breath in an adult body.
The bass holds rhythm, repeats to the drums’
soft shuffle, the vocal’s lasting glimpse.

Strange what the listening remembers: a scent,
a secret, another life—the ability to look
through eyes you believed crossed out, into
the untenable silence of the past where

dust motes catch fire in stills of sunlight.
You look around for someone to tell,
for something to believe in, but there is only
this dull ache and an arrow back to make it stop.