How to Lose Your Memory, How to Never Get it Back


In your former life, so you're told, you were wild.

You threw yourself down stairs to end a pregnancy,

dropped out of school to marry, though your parents begged,

even though the wedding never happened, just more

unplanned pregnancies, only you started keeping them.


In your current life—after the accidentyou’re not learning

quicklyYour kids speak for you, they raise you. When

they come home from school ask them: What did you learn

today? They are patient. Reply: Do we know any Indians?

Who's Abraham Lincoln? What was the Holocaust?

More and more, you manage on your own. You can add

simple numbers, no longer label the bleach POISON 

to keep from confusing it with milk. But now existing

doesn't feel like enough. You have learned about love

and can't unlearn it. Nights you walk the halls


of your supposed home, opening drawer after drawer,

hoping to find something, anything, that belongs to you.