Deleting Names (A Decaying Sestina)
Scrolling through the at-the-limit list of names, I’m caught unaware: my phone displays a friend I’ll never be able to call again. Now that all that’s left of her are memories I can’t delete her entry, it seems too final, as if it would erase our entire past together. Phones are democratic: jumbled together are lovers and colleagues, name after name in alphabetical order. It was she who finally convinced me to get a phone; the day my friend and I went to buy it is still a vivid memory: I was having one of those lapses of memory; not long before, he and I had spent the night together. We run into him on the street; both he and my friend expect an introduction, but I’ve forgotten his name. I’ve now forgotten so many boys; only their names remain, stored in my phone’s memory. Those I can delete, but not my friend’s. It’s as if all that remains of our friend- ship is this metonymy of her name on a SIM-card full of memories and names.