the dirt will ruin all.
Peel off the shade before storage.
Like the day you played hooky
with a married old professor.
Keep only his grateful kisses,
how tenderly he squeezed your hand goodbye.
Store only drops of joy, hold on
to the sweet seeds and juice.
Memories can be chopped up any way you like;
almost none can be kept whole.
So stick with the best parts, the parts least
bruised and spoiled, snip what lacks the flavor
of happy recollections.
I can tell you that grief and other passions
loosen the tough skins of bitter times––they slip
off easily. Let the pealed memories cool
then store them in your heart's larder.
When you’re ready, behold this delicious jam,
savor it for the rest of your days.