The side-effects of second-hand skin

when your memories speak to you
your heart starts beating
to warn others not to get overtaken
by their vigorous eagerness
when your memories speak to you
you mind starts to wonder
to warn others not to take it so hard
when they believe all has failed
when your memories speak to you
you start whimpering
when your memories speak to you
you start to feel light-headed
by your remembrances
just enough to warn others not to do it

After a frantic night of procrastination and extreme stress you could have easily avoided;
after simply running out of paper causes you to have a meltdown you've never had before;
after watching Call Me By Your Name at the cinema and crying at the end because you
couldn't ever imagine feeling that kind of love, or being loved in such a way; after sending an
automated message to your best friend to tell him you're sorry. There is a key moment that
embeds our memories in the skin of our body, those moments which we live through so hard
that our body begins to absorb them and permanently store them away, self-loathing and a
lack of agency, the hospital in which your sister died, your childhood home, sickness, late
night dinners, a childhood teddy bear, a panic attack in a train, feeling not yourself, a house
on the other side of the street is burning, you are always arguing about the same things, the
sleepover where you realized you needed therapy, approaching the end of everything, finding
escape in going underwater, the paradoxical way you find both peace and disquietude in the
nature park, your mother's voice, the river, the railroad, the restaurant, the bridge, herons,
bird nests, a dog, tears, laughter, the—

The doctors warned you a new body
always contained traces of previous
owners. The most intense memories
get burned into the body, usually deep
enough to never re-enter. But your
mind triggers things you never even
experienced, your memories uneasy
to follow, it feels as though you
lived it in a previous life, you turn
on the stereo to muffle the thoughts
arising in your head, you turn into
stories you do not want to hear,
you turn into someone you never
were before.

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