There Is No Such Thing As Forgetting

Absent limbs
are limbs that happen to be absent.

The scene of the crime
will always be the scene of the crime.

Wipe up the blood
and it’s still marked
by the memory of whomever lives
to remember, by the story recorded
in their sh-sh’ing or tsk’ing,
by those in earshot and with their own
hard drive of memory stored or spoken,
or it lives as a yellowed archive yet to be digitized
by a summer intern.

At 99 and a half my grandmother
knew each of my names, even the ones
she refused to call like the excuse
my pop-pop used to hug us: sugah
without arms; no contact. And he, too, knew
though I was one of many
just like all of my names.
There is no such thing as forgetting.

Space may be filled with more important information,
but in the back of the cupboard is more.
So when they ask me if 20 years is enough time
to let It go I tell them
that when they shift the contents of my cupboard:
baking soda with no rise and cans of beans awaiting
some disaster or adventure just like the last packet of yeast
my grandmother gave me to encourage me to try my hand
at her famous yeast rolls, I never bothered.

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