Seven Years From Now

Seven years from now
My body will be new.
These hands will not be the hands that held hers in mine.
Any memory of her will be gone from me
Any traces of how she felt
Any remnants of her skin pressed to mine like the stuck together pages of a neglected book
Will be gone

Because the cells in our bodies are constantly dying and multiplying
So eventually
You’re not the same person you were a few years ago
A new born baby
Fresh out of the womb of regeneration

Except for our brain cells
Those don’t reproduce.
They’re as old as we are.
Hanging around like bright white letters
Etched onto a wall by years of weather and wear pounding down on a long gone sign
So even though it’s faint you can still make it out.
No matter how faded the memories are
They’re there somewhere
Poking at the surface reminding you that it all happened
That you were there

So seven years from now
Though she will be gone from my body
Put away on a shelf
Just high enough to where I can’t reach it.
But I can still see them.
Neatly stacked memories
Tucked in a box and tired with a bow.
Perfectly preserved unless my mind begins to lose itself, too
Or maybe not even then
Maybe the last memory I’ll have will be of her
Smiling
Seven years from now
Or seventy
Her memory will be alive, thriving in a cluster of cells. 

Seven years from now no part of my body will have touched hers
But in my brain she’ll stay
Eternally etched letters
On the storefront of my subconscious
Constantly and quietly and relentlessly letting me know
She’s here to stay

 

Brooke Hoese

Author's Note:

I wrote [this] when I was only a sophomore in high school but it's still one of my favorite pieces. I had just experienced my first heartbreak and was reading one of the zillions of clickbait articles about how your cells multiply and replace themselves so fast you have a new body every seven years. I now know it isn't quite that cut and dry and only really applies to your outer layer of skin, but at the time it stuck with me, and I thought about how seven years from then and my body would never have made contact with hers, but then how the impact she made on my life was so profound, she'd probably still be around in some way or another. 

And I definitely wasn't wrong. Here I am about four years later and I still haven't forgotten her or the time we spent together. And I'm lucky enough to be doing well, and knowing that she is too.

Venuspoetry, submission