As your eyes glazed over you held the pen etched onto the paper the nib was ink spilling over spilling and over thicker and richer and thicker the stain spreading the stain spreading over the page the sinews of the once-tree straining at the force of the stain the page could not contain you and your eyes were glazed over and it spread and spread you were murmuring half-formed memories looking at the grandfather clock your grandmother gave you unsure of the time or the person you were murmuring
rich trauma stain burning through a palimpsest your attempts remembering who you were are will be have been a diary mapping your memories and the sight of your own name first-middle-last repeated over and over and there in the corner your date of birth a collocation of words you wrote your present partner’s name and at the ‘ellis’ connected him with your best friend the great love of your life not the men romance trauma but the bonds between women platonic
in bold letters in the middle of the page you wrote R E M E M B E R what were you trying to remember it was all so much and you were trying to fix yourself in time to inscribe yourself make yourself real somehow and i think of that lyric i feel as if i might be vanishing
I hold each of your shoulders repeat your nameone of your names the name i always used for you even though it only ever related to sister and me that name – mum- i could never comprehend a child not using the important one the one that stuck around the one who had the love most real too rich too thick sometimes perhaps
your eyes recognition glimmer stare away back towards the clock that clock that always ticks but never moves always ticks always transfixed in time a little how your name and birth date written over and over was your attempt at that tick without movement that tick without more
transfixed your shoulders my hands gently and your eyes your world beyond my shoulders. Here we are me your son cut from you at birth i have forgotten intimacy mother i have forgotten its feel i think you have too mother i have lost you and myself somehow and i remember when Rich asked does the infant memorize the body of the mother and create her in absence and think of the ways i memorialize you
ink stain of all the men who ever hurt you like dad who maybe loved you for a while but never as much as he loved himself there is a complication in the ink stain in that i am your son and you love me and i remain i endure we endure & yet it is a rich and dark and complicated love as i am still a man and part of this stain too somehow and this stain and me are both a part of you
Why is the name changed. The name is changed because in the little space there is a tree, in some space there are no trees, in every space there is a hint of more, all this causes the decision.
Stein’s rooms and openings and trees and liftings above language above binaries of bodies and languages into something beyond the trees of all of this and i remember the two of us in yorkshire one weekend in july months after the ink stain upon the dead trees and i cherish the sight of you eyes closed not glazed but closed and so very much with me in that room while you were attempting to stretch or something that was always going to look absurd and you being you my mum but also so many other things to so many other people you could not contain the absurdity of that moment and we broke down erupting with laughter the way we sometimes do, together. At nothing really at all. I cherish these moments because I know i am one of the few witnesses no participants in these secret games we play with no rules where maybe there are no trees but there is a space beyond and certainly a hint of more. I cherish these moments like the smell of rain fresh on tarmac when the sun follows a downpour. fleeting yet hallowed. I cherish these moments because I don’t know when they will come again, and I want to fix you and us in time in these moments or at least attempt to remember us this way.