Of Places and People

I leave my memories in places, not people.
Like that bridge over the Seine
I padlocked with a promise
That saw the scribbles
no one else did – my name,
looped twice,
Both lover and loved
And it hoped in unrelenting silence
for the day I would return
to rewrite an old love
with a new flame.

Or that cobblestone street in England
That watched me sign
the ‘Do Not Resuscitate’
for a future that
kept costing me
too much to revive.
Maybe one day I’ll retrieve it
From this town of castles and candor
And nurse it back to health.

Some places are closer to home
Like that grimy, unprotected alcove
On the school roof
Where we hid a handful of paper –
Prophecies for an illustrious future
I don’t know if they were realised,
I don’t remember them,
For the monsoon rains were quick
To wash them away.

And some places are far
Like the burnished panels
Of the Golden Gate Bridge
That heard every unsaid promise
Hopes and dreams
I whispered in inebriety
And as I ran my fingers
over its rustic spines
In that ephemeral moment
Anything seemed possible.

Point is,
Leave your memories safe
In the fortitude of places.
They endure in a way that people don’t
They hold your narrative intact
Within a fractional instance
in the fabric of time
To be written, rewritten, overridden,
Only by you.

Anusha Subramanian studies molecular and cellular biology at the University of California, Berkeley.

Featured image credit: Gemma Evans/Unsplash