All my life I’ve created lists.

To-do lists.
Grocery lists.
Bucket lists.

I’ve written poems in the form of lists. My first poem was a list of everything I loved about Spring. It had rhyming couplets, and it was terrible. All my life I’ve listed reasons why that poem didn’t deserve the Grand Prize at my elementary school.

All my life I’ve created lists.

I listed all the senses in that prizefighter poem, the distant sound of a neighbor’s lawnmower, the way our tulips bent over backward along the sidewalk, and the contrast of cumulus clouds against mid-April’s Alabamian sky.

All my life I’ve created lists.

I listed the sound of rain berating my bedroom window, the sight of a silver maple’s branches bending under the streetlights just outside that window, and how the smell of lighting created a sadness I could not explain at eight-yrs-old.

All my life I’ve created lists.

All my life I’ve created lists to explain myself away.

All my life I’ve created lists.

Tonight, I listened to the same album that was playing when my mother called to tell me that my father had died. I listened to the same playlist, in order. I listened tonight, because all my life I’ve created lists.

I listened, tonight, because I don’t know what else to do, except to hit play and repeat. I listened because I don’t know how to explain away the repetitions. I listened tonight because history repeats itself, over and over and over again, until it doesn’t.

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