It's fast and cool as running water, the way we forget the names of friends with whom we talked and talked the long drives up and down the coast. I say I love and I love and I love. However, the window will not close. However, the hawk searches for its nest after a storm. However, the discarded nail longs to hide its nakedness inside the tire. Somewhere in Cleveland or Tempe, a pillow still smells like M_____'s hair. In a bus station, a child is staring at L____'s rabbit tattoo. I've bartered everything to keep from doing my soul's paperwork.
Here is a partial list of artifacts:
mirror, belt, half-finished 1040 form (married, filing jointly), mateless walkie-talkie, two blonde eyelashes, set of acrylic paints with all the red and yellow used up, buck knife, dog collar, camping tent (sleeps two), slivers of cut-up credit cards, ashtray in the shape of a naked woman, pen with teeth marks, bottom half of two-piece bathing suit, pill bottles containing unfinished courses of antibiotics, bank statements with the account number blacked out, maps of London, maps of Dubuque, sweatshirts with the mascots of colleges I didn't attend, flash cards for Spanish verbs (querer, perder, olvidar), Canadian pocket change, fork with two tines pushed together.
Forgetfulness means to be full of forgetting, like a glass overflowing with cool water, though I'd always thought of it as the empty pocket where the hand finds nothing: no keys, no ticket, no change. One night, riding the train home from the city, will I see a familiar face across from me? How many times will I ask Is it you? before I realize it's my own reflection in the window?