revision: I am not the poem

I’ve grown through poems
like rings on a tree in 600 years to be cut down
sliced and stood on end, small plaques spiked into its rings
“Columbus arrives in Americas, 1492”
“the Declaration of Independence signed, 1776”

* we were first friends
* you thought you loved me
* I hated you
recorded in words and the space between

I am not the poem, not even this one

the poems trail behind me
in a cloud of words
like stars or car exhaust.

but I can’t tell you to stop reading
no more than I could tell you
to forget the cloud of memories
which doesn’t need my words at all