by Cassandra Anouthay
The other day, my birth father told me
my middle name means remembrance.
And I wonder why he chose that
since he forgot me two years later.
And I wonder if I’m something to forget,
like an umbrella or a cup of coffee.
And I wonder—does my middle name
explain why I remember everything?
Moonlit trees in a second story window,
dirty knees, eating uncooked ramen on
back balconies, baby hairs on the nape,
curled, sweaty, and morning breath kisses.
And I wonder if he had a list of words
scribbled on a napkin or maybe his arm,
the ink-black dragon on it breathing
love and peace and flower and elephant
(my mother thought it was elephant),
and if he scratched out each one until
all that was left was remembrance.
And I’m telling you now,
with a warm heart and a clenched fist:
all that is left is remembrance.