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misrememory - poetry by Maya Renaud-Levine

How is it you think you know me

like the back of your hand?

you remind me of someone

you spew my un-names, chunks

of misremembered recollections and spit

flecked in my familiar hair.

I have been given /a name/ and

/a face/ of my own, and yet -

Untrespassable, but still -

you remind me of someone

I am a glistening flame of reminiscence

in a world of unabashed moths

you remind me of someone

I am an echo of a word never said to me

I am rattling hollow

- I wonder -

how many times I must layer my translucent skin

stack my shadows, paper thin multiplied

fold myself over myself

until I am opaque

until you remember -

who it was I reminded you of.

How is that my condition

is evocation?

maybe i will always be, the peripheral vision of a memory

a familiar smell from a child’s kitchen counter

my barren body, your mother’s shampoo -


Maya Renaud-Levine is a sophomore at Beacon High School, born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. She sings in a chorus, plays the piano, goes for long walks with friends, inhales crime novels, and generally makes it very difficult for herself to find time to write. Poetry is a newfound passion. This is her first publication.

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