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The Pull - Melody Greenfield

* Inspiration comes from Instructions for Living by Erika L. Sanchez as published in The New Yorker


“The past is the past is the past,” yet 

“when you touched me, I named the future.” 

Memories of the past,

and your hands, 

mouth, 

and body on me, 

interrupt the present—

yesterday’s future. 


Memories of you touching me 

haunt me, 

inspire me, 

startle me.


Memories of you touching me 

make me feel:

alive;

beautiful;

sexy;

desired;

sought after…

guilty.


Feelings that, 

in my present married-life, 

I tamp down;

push under the surface;

neglect.


“I named the future:” Impossible 

because I made you into a memory

instead of my reality. 

We did that collectively. 


You are an unknown. 

Sweet in your unattainability. 

The truth is never as sweet though.

Is it?


You really did happen,

but not really.


Not fully.

You are like a clause—a

sentence that

never fully formed.

A scene I keep returning to,

replaying in my head. 


You are worth remembering,

and I remember you often.

I can conjure up

your image at any time,

and I do, before pressing it away.


You are: 

forbidden;

dangerous;

mysterious;

and ultimately,

unknowable.


Still, all-consuming,

you consume my thoughts 

as you once consumed me.

Devoured me, like dessert. 


We as an entity 

will have to live on

in our respective memories—

impeccable memories 

that can still recall 

the smallest sensory details.


The figure eights you drew with your tongue;

The hand you cupped my head with, 

then placed on my wanting breast;

The hairs you gently brushed off my face;

The forbidden words you whispered in my ear.


The very ears you tickled and teased;

Your thumbs against my messy brows;

Your eyes locked on mine

when you looked deep into me,

as you moved deeper into me.


You loved me without saying as much.

You told me with your body. 


And all of these visceral memories, 

our memories, 

draw us back.


Back…

into the distance;

into the beyond;

and into each other.


Back…

to a time that still feels fresh and new—

when “you touched me, and I

named the future:” Impossible.

I suspect you feel the same pull.


Bio:

An Antioch University Los Angeles MFA alumna, Melody has published creative work—both under her real and pen name—in The Los Angeles Review; the Los Angeles Review of Books; Lunch Ticket; The Manifest-Station; Brevity; Annotation Nation; Meow Meow Pow Pow, for which she was nominated for a best small fiction award; the Pup Pup Blog; Poke; and forthcoming in Sledgehammer Lit and Pink Plastic House.

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