The Longest Time

My mother believes
     that every grief
          recalls, or
at least summons
     the memory of
          every other grief.
And I can’t help but
     think if that 
          is so, then
it must also be true
     for joy. Just as
          it must also be
when the seasons turn
     it brings back
          every other season
or maybe just the first.
     As in the first last
          time you ever
experience something.
     I remember hearing
          Billy Joel playing
The Longest Time
     in the other room
          on the stereo
while I was in
     the other room doing
          something else,
and I ran to
     where the music
          was coming from
thinking it might be
     the last time
          I ever hear that song.
I was only a kid,
     and surprised by
          my mother
with the cassette case
     in her hand,
          and I realized
we could play the song
     any time we wanted.
          Even when it’s not
on the radio,
     you can bring it back
          by rewind or
fast forward,
     to the precise moment
          the song begins.
And not only that
     every time you hear the song
          is also every other
time you’ve heard the song.
     Every age you become
          is also every age
you’ve ever been.
     Which is why I feel
          like a child
as the days grow shorter
     and longer
          and I’m rushing
from the other room
     to see everything
          before it passes,
and I forget
     there’s nothing
          to remember.

By Joshua Keiter

reader, writer, actor, singer, teacher