Leave the Memory Behind
photo of “1968 Abortion Rights demonstration, NYC” by Bev Grant

Leave the Memory Behind

Feel his weight, taste the blood as his fist connects with my chin

Feel his hate – cold and impersonal – I’m nothing to him.

Then let me be nothing, let this moment be nothing, I can will it from my mind

Leave it here by the road. Leave the memory behind.


Start again, write a new story, choose a name and construct a past.

Shed my skin, glide into the next life, however long it lasts

Another small town, another small room, another job in a kitchen somewhere

Let the past fall away and it’s like I was never there.

Let the past fall away, leave the memory behind.


No one blinks, nobody questions who I am or where I’ve been.

Let them think whatever they think, just accept it and settle in

Every yes holds a no, every choice a rejection, another future never to be

And whatever it is – will be –

All tracks recorded at Merkin Concert Hall (Kaufman Music Center) on May 12, 2021 by the following artists:



Justine Aronson as Mary/Caroline

Amy Justman as Louise

Paul Pinto as Nash

Tim Russell as Bobby/Jason

Jonathan Woody as Henry



Mila Henry, music director and piano

Abi Fayette, violin I

Rachel Shapiro, violin II

Jessica Meyer, viola

Andrew Yee, cello

Shayna Dunkelman, drums

Liz Faure, guitar



Mike Gurfield, producer

Merkin Concert Hall at Kaufman Music Center:

Ken Feldman, engineer


Eat the Document at Joe's Pub left

Creative Team

John Glover

John Glover, composer

Described as “an unabashedly expressive composer,” (New Yorker) John Glover has received commissions from organizations including Houston Grand Opera, On Site Opera, New York Youth Symphony, American Composers Orchestra, Washington National Opera, Milwaukee Opera Theatre, and American Conservatory Theater. His work has been presented in venues ranging from Rockwood Music Hall to Carnegie Hall, The Invisible Dog to Rothko Chapel.


Kelley Rourke. Photo by Brittany Lesavoy Smith.

Kelley Rourke, librettist

Kelley Rourke is a librettist, translator and dramaturg. Her work has been commissioned and performed by the Metropolitan Opera, English National Opera, Washington National Opera, The Glimmerglass Festival, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Seattle Opera, Minnesota Opera, Carnegie Hall, Met LiveArts, and Houston Grand Opera, among others. Kelley is resident dramaturg for The Glimmerglass Festival and Artistic Advisor for Washington National Opera’s American Opera Initiative.


Kristin Marting, director

Kristin Marting is a director of hybrid work based in NYC. Over the last 25 years, she has constructed 29 stage works, including 9 original hybrid works, 6 opera-theatre and music-theatre works, 9 reimaginings of novels and short stories and 5 classic plays. Kristin has directed 19 works at HERE and also premiered works at BAM, 3LD, Ohio Theatre, and Soho Rep. Kristin is Founding Artistic Director of HERE and Co-Founding Director of Prototype Festival. 


Mila Henry

Mila Henry, music director

Mila Henry is a conductor, pianist and music director, as well as Artistic Director of Brooklyn-based company The American Opera Project (AOP). Hailed “a stalwart contributor to the contemporary opera scene” (Opera Ithaca), she provides musical dramaturgy to AOP works in development and serves as Head of Music for their renowned Composers & the Voice training program for composers and librettists. Outside of AOP, Mila maintains an active and versatile career, leading works spanning rock musicals to folk operas to reimagined classics.



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eat the document © 2024

Photos: “G.I.’s Against the War” (top) and “Don’t Cry: Resist,” (footer) by Bev Grant.

Eat the Document has been developed with support from The American Opera Project, New York State Council on the Arts.