i'm beginning to forget the names of things. old boyfriends. old english. the street where we lived when we were in love once, a million miles from here. i don't miss their faces. old haunts. the burning smell of regret at the thought of the touch of a tie. or a plastic hanger. or the old thrift-store alarm-clock tiles tick. tick. tick. your memories are the weight of my palm on a new day when it is below zero and the air is too cold to breathe and the world resolves itself into moments when i am alive and a love and leaving you. these are the dog cold days of dying youth when my brain cells swell. and all that is left is nothing of you. no last dregs in the bottom of wine glasses or beer steins or the soles of shoes. i've given you away in handfuls and tea cups and fist-fulls of tantrums. i am so glad for you. leaving. this garland of names.

Everything you've ever known is what you know. Love letters. Hate mail. All those things you wrote about birds and other things with wings. Trapped. Not trapped. On stairs. Without. punctuated and unhinged. Hinged. whatever.  none of it matters now. the thing about being a parent is. what. That something that hurts is prescient. no. crushing. no. unknowable unnameable crushing. If I was meant to be the mother of things, perhaps I would be. But I am not. Even though I have felt the crushing feeling unknowable pain of the knowing. At times. It is not. And this is, absolutely not. It is waiting. And crushing. And painful stupid knowledge. The kind I've already learned. Too many times. To steer clear of. To look out for. To not fight, into the cold hard darkness, hoping somehow to find the light.

I don't have love letters for this. I've written them. In harsh sobs. And soft sounds. And regrettable voicemail messages left for people who never wanted to hear them. That's where this is. Somewhere that happened, but deleted. For the record.