I heave myself through time’s maw. I hail myself a master of the present. I breathe. 

We are looking at a roadside photograph. Laughing at the other man’s discomfort, he looks at the photo and then at the floor, then says, “Well, every step you’ve ever taken, something has been lost there.” 

We are running out of new ground. 

I try to turn and look with my left eye, but history presses on me like a witch trial. I stare at the side of the refrigerator and everything collapses. The boys and men you once were crowd into my pantry, sharing the same blue eyes and the same strange name, but yelling different words and mulling different silences and I am falling apart. Who am I to herd these crowds? Someone else comes home, and another hoard arrives.

My backyard is filled with the bodies of the women that I used to be. I have forgotten my past with a shovel and a bath. But yours, yours I carry with me like a child. I have lost the way of hearing just your voice. Only your mouth on my ear, your hand on my hair. That was then, this is now. 

If love is the history of love, then where is the palimpsest where we can write our names? 

I beg your pardon; I forget myself. Dress yourself in different clothes, paint your eyes and change your songs. Kiss me like a stranger, and the past is gone. But each word from your lips speaks with a voice that is older than these new-found tunes, and I am afraid. 

The hand that feeds my heart has struck the hour, and time is cruel to each and all. So let me, let me learn how to forget.