By now, my memories are a slender deck
less tarot cards than flash cards
made before a quiz to quickly
shuffle through. A fire escape,
your winter bed, this checkered shirt,
a recipe, a poem or two. They say no child
recalls the lessons that they memorize
in school: the parts of a bridge
or a tree or a body are forgotten
in notebooks, closed away.
It’s true I’ve forgotten
your touch and your hands by now.
My own hands, I’ve learned, are no longer
the same, each cell that you knew
has died as well, and even muscle memory
doesn’t last this long. Every recollection
is not of you, but of the last time
I called that memory into mind,
which is to say every time I remember
what remains of you is less. When I grasp
at the space between thinking
and words, I wonder if this
might be anything like the way
that my other hands once touched you.