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Jar of Regrets
written by: Christina Strigas
Once I placed all the sand from Center Island Beach
into a tiny Ziploc bag, then my god sister Dina
spread cream cheese and honey on Breton crackers
at half past two in the morning
and we all got up out of bed to talk until dawn.
I took the airplane alone
at sixteen and spent my days
on others’ schedules and landslides.
It was warm and humid in the city.
We took subways all the way into Queens
and Flushing, disregarding cigarette butts
in alleyways. I still feel impressed with
graffiti and shoulder pads. My crazy Aunt Eleni
drove like a mad woman up and down Fifth Avenue
honking and calling everyone a 'malaka'
god rest her sweet soul, she must have been
an angel to take care of all of us crazy teenagers.
There was a jar of regrets on her nightstand
it held some shells
from Cape Cod when my parents
and she and my uncle went on their honeymoon.
'It was a double wedding', she laughed, 'we rented'
'our gowns, your mom and I.'
'We took a taxi ride. None of our parents'
'were here, we were free.'
I have this jar of tiny rocks and gems
I collected from
Santorini. It means that regrets
have a time span,
can remain static,
or you can take them out
look at them
lock them back up again
where they have no air to breathe.