Memory, a Poem by Omair Bhat

Feb 1, 2019

In this poem, Omair Bhat explores the elusive nature of memory, envisioning it as a thing of two, the one who fights to remember and the one who withers with time and forgetfulness. The poem is presented as a monologue in search of a dialogue with the one who is absent and fading. The struggle for remembrance is at the core of this poem as its verses poignantly elucidate.

Say now that my memory of you is elusive.
It is the cloud hanging low over a tree in your courtyard.

Say now that my memory of you is an abandoned cave
(where no one has ever lived except for memory itself).

Say now that my memory of you is the invisible border
between your memory and my memory of you.
There your memory is the signpost which blatantly warns me against an infiltration bid.

Say now that my memory of you is the smell of your hands on my hands.

Say now that your memory of me is ridiculous.
It's there, but I cannot see it. Say now
that my memory of you is black.
It only traverses darkness.
It doesn't know anything of light.

Say now that my memory of you is the subversive territory of love.
I will bear your provocations. I will tell you that
your memory is my eternal abode.

Your memory is what keeps me alive.
And I will live to see it fall apart in crumbs.

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About the Contributor

Omair Bhat thinks of himself as a memory keeper. His poems have previously appeared in Critical Muslim, The Sunflower Collective, Celebration, Cafe Dissensus and Kashmir Lit. In his free time, Omair reads poetry from all over the world while researching international poets and their writings. He is currently finalizing a manuscript of his first book of poems.