A Memoir by Adrianna Sanchez-Lopez
My friend’s words invade memory plasma: We’re all just waiting for our moments in the sun. I tell her about blisters, about the temporal, about first memories when I thought you stretched open the sky each morning, thought you ushered in the sunlight, until one morning I awoke to rays of warmth on my skin, and you were missing.
I rushed my small wobbly body into your bedroom, unable to understand how the sun awoke while your eyes remained closed. I didn’t realize in that young moment that my belief in you would slip, revolutions stifled to a sluggish gesture until the gravity of moments wedged a cavern between us, scorched retinas unable to see you until it became less about time and more about measurements of motion and the momentum of blame when we stood on my front porch and your nose reddened and you told me you had no other choice but to stay with him. I called you weak; you got in your car and drove away.
The next morning sheets grated against burnt skin while the click of your car door echoed and echoed and echoed and the pain radiated from my temples and my insides tightened like fists. I burrowed under blankets in a dark room. I thought all wounds healed, but the sky yawned and snapped its jaw closed, swallowing my sun, my adoration of brevity, into a belly of darkness. Dark matter clung to moments: everything I should have said. I wrote your eulogy, wished the sun would emblazon my dreams the same way I remembered its radiance somewhere beneath the bony cavity of eyes, the protective orbits of first memories, when moments were collaged strips of your smile, evidence of a time when the entire world felt like you and me.
Moments, like flames that ravage underground roots, like words meant to hurt even though I should have said I love you, or in the clicking of a car door that I can’t undo, like hovering—blinded—mid-flight, like what stays in motion, or equal opposite reactions that make me question how many times I will keep writing about losing you. A moment in the sun, I tell my friend, is not a moment at all. It’s the shadow between celestial bodies, the gap between what we said and what we meant to say, widening. And what I meant to say is that I understand not leaving too.
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Adrianna Sanchez-Lopez is a lover of words, trees, cats, and lavender tea. Her recent work has appeared or is forthcoming in Prose Online, The Headlight Review, Complete Sentence, Five Minutes, The Plentitudes Journal, Sky Island Journal, The Brooklyn Review and elsewhere. Learn more about Adrianna at adriannasanchezlopez.com.