Letter To Myself

Mar 1, 2024 | 2024 Spring - Letters to Myself

By Violette Rose-Jones

we are all collections of ourselves, blood and shadows, pooling on our deep bedrock, imprinted on our concrete, as it is in Hiroshima, half black and certain, half ghostly inference… remember this. 

“…flash-bulb memory is most associated with traumatic events but in reality, only requires a large emotional response as a trigger. An event so small as to go unnoticed by others, may, in the right circumstances, cause an impression to linger for decades in the memory, a bright, loud spot in our timelines…” (Michelline & Cabot, 1996, p.6)

…we are stalled on those town hall steps, still waiting for him to catch us up, grow up, marry, divorce, develop wrinkles that are not laugh lines, knowing he is not even in his grave grates. we found the records, said no remains present. did his mother make a place for what remained of him in her new world before she died? we stumbled downhill to his cross that winter day reminding me of the May morning that may never have even happened the way we thought exactly when she told me about the ambulances? what happened to his neck? we do not, will not, know not then or now, but no mourning here, just a tiny corner of our life grayed out… we remember…

“Over time, the nature of some causal events can instigate an obsessive revisitation, especially if questions linger or there are unresolved emotions involved [ … ] These fragments of unnaturally sharp recall can become a marshaling point for anxieties that arise in other areas of the subject’s life.” (Michelline & Cabot, 1996, p.10) 

…from the river we remember him, swinging, over my head, a flash of scrotum…we blushed…he was ordinary not awful, not our type but so nice, too old, our friend liked him, plain but nice as he was, brown eyes, just a little too wet. we went to the river that day just to swim not pivot our life…remember this? 

“The modern world mandates heroic victims. As is frequently lamented on social media, no murder victim is ever a mean-spirited drunk; violent death saints them all, sanitizes them out of their humanity. Perfection seems to be a prerequisite for one to deserve to be mourned in the public gaze.” (Bellingham, 2020, p.252)

that night in the tent, in the woods with these things, we lit a candle, tried to remember the dead, but the we of then is only a shell, a vacated mess that echoes, that left an impression on ourself once but, that now, we can barely recall. were we funny? did we bite? we try to trace the outline of ourself and fail… our mind’s eye never renders him right either… gets the smell, misses the voice, recalls the meaning but loses the words. the we then is not more correct than the memory of that young man that’s been dead decades… remember that.

“After a significant neurological insult, retrograde amnesia may develop. This typically covers the time immediately preceding the trauma and for an arbitrary length of time into the past. Typically it returns in full or part over time. The likelihood of a memory being regained has a direct relationship to the duration between formation and the event that caused the insult; incidents immediately beforehand and the details of the event itself are the least likely to return.”  (Margo, Fells & Kentland, 1986, p.10)

so many versions of us have come and gone these decades passed but those pebbles that stowed away in our pockets grew into boulders over time… remember. 

Violette Rose-Jones is a disabled, bisexual poet and visual artist from the Mid North Coast of New South Wales. She has been widely published in haiga, tanka, and haiku forms.


Bellingham, M., 2020. “True Crimes: The Internet, Murder and Finding the Guilty,” Journal of Speculative Criminology, Is.5, Vol.2. https://www.jstor.org/stable/27163721.

Margo, M., Fells, B., & Kentland X.A. 1986. Memory and Identity, Caswell & Lincoln, Boston, Massachusetts. 

Michelline, M & Cabot B.B, 1996. “Flashbulb Memory: Does It Help Establish and Maintain Trauma in Survivors of Abuse?” Journal of Trauma Psychology, Autumn 1996:6-10.

[NOTE: All quotes and citations used are fictional.]

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