What is memory if not false?

What is a hug if not a kiss retracted?
All loss is a bill of lading for the irretrievable inventory of truncated affairs,
dignified departures,
holding ourselves together long enough for the spotlights to cross our hearts,
hope to die,
stick to the story for the kids.

What is to be done with these mementos?
These halls of luxury are lined with the bedecked portraits of ancestors
who knew how to hold a smile
long past the moment of surrender.
The whites in their eyes
judge the selfish short shrift we make of our vows,
but forever used to be so much shorter.

What is left to be said?
If the truth is yet another asset to split down the middle
why not sell our shares in this buyer’s market
and be finally free?

A memory is merely a lie retold
and in the retelling, we never reach our end.