Archival Memory II
You bathe in forms I’ve never met
But if memory serves without the sugarcoat,
When you were in writer’s halls, singing villanelles, offering odes,
and cornering quatrains with your lacy sestina,
The marine lab held me sway, chambered in Nautilus pompilius,
casting nets deeper than darkness, her bioluminescent waves.
Come Spring, my algal mats were a riot of bubbling pigments
much the way cherry blossoms bloomed in your haiku.
And how can I hold it against you? The courage you held for two.
While I scribbled verses on graph paper, you doodled lips on fish.
Archival dust made us both sneeze.
Tara Linda, c. 2018
NaPoWriMo Prompt #4: to write about an abstraction in a concrete way. This poem is a rewrite of a poem from 7 years ago, about something very abstract: regret. And perhaps a bit of jealousy. It’s one of those pieces that when I first wrote it, began to open a door to a feeling I’d yet to articulate: that I became a scientist instead of a poet. And that somehow, a certain poet I knew was farther ahead and better equipped than I. Revisiting this poem now, this topic, was easier. I felt more like an observer than a participant, I could open the door even wider, filling in more specifics than before. I loved studying science. And poetry! And I have no regrets. I know now that regardless what my path has been, marine science enriched my life. And of course, studying poetry and music in non-traditional ways, has made the poet within stronger and more defiant than ever. I can see now too, what a waste of time it is to compare ourselves to others. Don’t do it!! Thankfully, our paths all differ wildly. We should celebrate this.