Cover Photo: "Parallel Lives" and "To Look Back? To Not Look Back?"  by Lauren Suval

"Parallel Lives" and "To Look Back? To Not Look Back?"

Parallel Lives

it’ so surreal you’re next to me

here and now, in my past;

run-of-the-mill convenient stores covered in lotto ads

ethnic clusters amidst the weekend hustle

blocks of brick, yards that are narrow

orthodox synagogues en route to knapp street

old haunts, preserved haunts

forever etched in memory

and where were you?

it’s so surreal to ponder your existence

that wasn’t known, that wasn’t intertwined with mine

i want to know these things

i want to feel like i knew you;

even when our lives ran parallel

To Look Back? To Not Look Back

i do not want to know

dismiss the thought;

but do not mistake my good riddance for apathy

for it is anything but

nostalgia’s bitter embers hurt my eyes;

the flame is too hot, still

surely missing what’s surely gone

and yet, maybe i do want to know

i want to crawl inside my memory box

breathe it all in;

as if i was young again

transcend what is

but as you age,

perhaps it’s best not to know

do not look back;

because once you do,

you will begin to wonder:

what is left?

Lauren Suval studied print journalism and psychology at Hofstra University, and she is a writer based in New York. Her work has been featured on Psych Central, Thought Catalog, Catapult Community, and other online publications. Lauren's e-book “Coping With Life’s Clutter” and her latest book, “The Art Of Nostalgia,” a collection of personal essays, can both be found on Amazon. She loves to be followed on Twitter @LaurenSuval and on Facebook @LaurenSuvalWriting.