Living in the Past

My grandmother’s garden with rabbits eating her plants, my grandfather waking up at

five in the morning every day to make his social rounds.

A handmade first communion dress, magnolia trees in bloom,

unwrapped Christmas presents, stepping on a metal rake and lying

in a tub as my foot bled

My father playing chess in every spare moment, how I could here him thinking about chess

when he was on the phone with me.

These phantoms of moments and people dissolved

the way I imagine losing a finger might feel as if it’s still there when it really is not,

is how they linger

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