the illusion of memory (20170614)

what is this place–
some kind of dorm
prep school, college?

filled with debris of an old life
this place is unfamiliar in ways that
reveal the lie
of the illusion of memory

here, a set of tibetan prayer flags
piles of books without titles
and so many toys
all things i have never
specifically handled
touched or
loved

the room buzzes with people
a handful of them long dead
every one interested
in helping me clean
scavenging things they want
from my old life
in a rush to get this room ready
for the next inhabitant
dragging objects packed or not
down concrete stairs
to where a moving truck
already stuffed full
awaits

shoppers draw near the scene
–a cosmic garage sale–
offering money
or just taking what they want

impossibly in the room
and on the ground
at the same time
the more i pack the more i discover
items still unclaimed
a box full of glass eyes
coins from foreign lands
an old handheld game

i should feel some kind
of attachment
yet only the dead give me pause

an overwhelming sense
of futility mixed with exhaustion
washes over me

i peel back carpet
and find a rotted wood floor
i have never seen