On the Shores of the Ganges River

Remembering is an act of creation.
Each of us is an artist, carefully sculpting
smiles, a magician
conjuring the warmth
of bodies pressed together.

But memory stretches beyond illusion, is
more than a static frieze on the side of a Grecian urn.

To remember is to give life, to animate.
To make her laugh again,
to brush the sand from between our toes,
to let the lilting chants rise once more above the rush of the river,
to watch the sun sink beneath the trees,
swallowed whole.

And they say that each remembering is different,
that I will never again return to the same place.
That soon it will be stones, not sand,
that the bridge will not be swaying slightly overhead,
that someday your words will recede
into a whisper swept away into the wind.

So I write to remember,

to grasp the essence of that moment and bottle it,
hold it close—pressed between the pages of my notebook.

The stars have burnt out
but I still see the light;
The music has stopped,
but the refrain still echoes within my head.


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