I hadn’t actually sat down to write this
I had actually sat down to make an inventory list
of all the things you said I owe you
things that you tell me help me know you
because you say now with some resignation and the feeling
of wanting to slip off unwanted skin,
or maybe break open the cocoon you think i put you in
‘ lets get this shit out in the open,
lets finally measure this long,real long distance between what we were hoping,
and what this thing turned out to be, because frankly, I can no longer see
between me and we ‘.
I started putting things down in my list, maybe I wanted this to be a gist, or a map, if you will,
of the places we went to together, inside my head, out in the city
and sometimes on your bed. we lost stuff over there,
stuff that at that point we didn’t really care much for about
but now suddenly, without so much as a whisper of a doubt
this has become the cornerstone of our years together, in your mind,
of the days and nights you would rather leave
so, anyway,here are the items in no particular order, just sequential randomised
bits and fragments of memory I picked up from the border of dream
and waking up. some of these things I might even be making up, but then
you know me. remembering things was never my specialty.
that was always your thing, that obsessive compulsive remembering
of ‘dates’, ‘events’,’sins forgiven’,’transgressions committed’
blunt instruments of memory whittled and coaxed down to a single sharp unforgiving point
to be used when necessitated by my infinite ability to forget
and not really hold a regret about forgetting, because for me this was all,(you said),
something fleeting, like sand blowing off your car windshield
or like limbs blown off in a minefield
like angels having their names struck off, and their wings torn off for having committed
the unspeakable crime of having forgotten to take the lords’ name.
but, really there is nothing and no one here to blame.
I forget, you remember.
that was the pattern. the logic to what we had.
regularity. like brown leaves in autumn, and sorry-looking off-white snow
the imaginary geographies we make up in our mind
the islands and the continents and the oceans we leave behind are somehow blurrier now
the brown leaves of autumn and their brown veins
like river streams skeletal with the waiting for rains draped over with the
off-white snow of forgetting.
I never really learnt the art of letting go, and it seems you learnt it too well
because as far as I can tell
I can see you sitting now, hunched over your bedside table
your legs in a knot, your body teetering close to the edge of the bed
but somehow stable, a pen in your hand,listing up the inventory
of what (you say) I took from you,
what you want back, and what you think i could keep
because you don’t care.
Things like old clothes, pictures, clumps of hair, wild doodles on ruled pages
The things you might have broken when you went into one of your rages and said you’d never see me again
and you hoped I would die, well, now I wouldn’t lie
this doesn’t feel very life-like….trying to assemble a list of your smells
and of your tells when you would lie to me, the slight edging away to the left
and the hand to the right of your forehead trying really really hard to scratch
an imaginary scar, and that look in your eyes that said
you were somewhere far,
far away while I rambled on (like I am rambling on now)
about things like….
wait…about things like making up lists of stuff that we took
from each other, just to keep the book clear
For that imaginary day when you’d no longer be there….
I see you do remember things well
so now that you can tell, that i haven’t gotten around to making that list
and probably won’t , by the looks of it.
maybe you could just send me whatever I think you are working on now and I will make sure that
I return every little itty-bitty piece of your life that i hold
inside my home, or somewhere in my head, or somewhere deeper down inside
Along with what’s left of my pride
I will let go of whatever you think helps me know you
we will be strangers, you and I, and if we ever catch each other’s eye
on the road somewhere, maybe you could put on that faraway stare ,
while I walk by, pretending I returned everything I owe you.