Less linear, out of order, come unstuck these deadweight memories. What I want is that loose tooth twisting, dangling in reach of my straining tongue; the space between those arbitrary marks on an arbitrary line. Only under the canopy and its lights, lights in the boughs that shudder with the wind, eye-burning lights, do I feel a remembrance. What? Déjà vu? Or moreso, when she climbed the branches like a girl of twelve, like skirts were made for ripping, hair for knotting. And she called to me, hidden by light. I was sure she would fall. She laughed, anti-climactic, and swung round the trunk with deft bare feet and nimble bark-fingers until softly on the grass again.

I am never sure of things now.

There were her roses, peach colored, gathered by the windowsill. She watered and watered, like a mother glutted with generosity. She cooed over them, let her fingers trace their delicate curves. Her precious, her lovely; petals and beaded water. Dew between grass blades, my hand beneath green. Those flowers aren't for showing I told her. The arcs of the sun grow treacherous. You do not understand changes of season, you do not know the ways of the years. How could she in her perpetual summer?

Winter came not as dry petals brittle to touch. Winter came as a vase, shattering.

Her protector I thought. To guide her in times of trouble. But I did not see myself chasing her shadows. I picked up her trail through a hunting ground become ungentle with the passage of time. But not a passing, a series, out of sequence. She knew my moods, my fugues. She took her time as I muttered of haste. Erratic I thought. The paths that she tread. But my own shuddering eyes branched them into a thousand nowheres. My steady step was a shellshocked fumbling. She danced ever constant, evergrace. As if she didn't know where her footfalls led. As if it was not her choice from the very start. Her mentor I thought.

A blind man praising his own foresight. A cat chasing his own tail.

When the lights in the trees depart and take their places in the heavens, I will not lift my head from the grass. I will not move until I can capture those infinite moments; the shape of her face as she smiled, her sing-song voice, her gestures of confidence, the wisdoms she whispered to an indifferent ear. I scoop them up like liquid to parch this desperate thirst. They dribble through my fingers. I must hold tighter. There is a river before me and a pile of rocks behind me. Stone yields no water. The weight of regret sits dead and disordered.

Your voice in the slow rush of the stream. Help me. I cannot swallow this worthless rubble of anger and self-pity. I cannot wait eons for the river to wash these sins away. I know you are there among the currents and eddies, flowing freely, waiting for me.

I thought that which you do not remember is that which did not exist. I did not know the silence has a voice of its own.