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The only memory is light

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Ines Querido @ F-Stop Magazine

Miles Fuller explores walls of memories at Wag's Revue.
All I asked for was a fast wheelchair. The paramedic told me this. Without memory, I can only listen to others’ accounts of the scene. Another story I’ve heard—and have now plugged back into the vortex of head trauma—is that with my forehead on the dash, bleeding, open-eyed, and silent, I appeared dead. Minutes later, I rose, palmed the driver’s face, and clawed into her cheeks tightly, repeating a litany of, I don’t want to be hurt, I don’t want to be hurt.  What I can remember is driving through the intersection at other times, in my own car, on that same stretch of road where my blind date t-boned a van—though I couldn’t remember anything beyond its hulking silhouette—and where a girl hung herself from the school bleachers a few months before. Both times I turned my head ever so slightly to look.

Impact. Then opiates. Then the only memory is light.

The prescription: to heal at my parents’ home in Virginia. The house is flooding, even as I arrive. Their yard smells of wet fire. He’s not talking to us. I answer their questions with few words. I hear their muffled voices through the bedroom wall. I draw human spines, with my herniated vertebrae in red, from anatomy books for hours. My mother says, yes, yes, yes to all that is said from the other end of the phone. Each day I read confessional poems and vomit painkillers. He’s got a new personality, she says. One Sunday two figures enter my room. Their arms pry against the dresser that is in front of the door. You can’t heal like this, a voice says. I believe it is my mother. I don’t want to believe it is my mother. Your body could heal but you won’t let it heal. I believe in waiting for the muscle spasms.
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