What does your husband remember?
Not the pain. Not the now of lists & memory
loss. Not what his sons said yesterday. Not that we live as vagrants
in Florida. Not that he called Alberta
God’s country, the frozen tundra sprawled beneath the sun like a road
sign. Not his mother’s cigarettes & wine.
Not how she died, her mouth splayed open.
Not now not now not now not—
When did you first notice the memory loss?
What can I say about fog, except that it begins
inside him now. That some beginnings are endings.
That his brain turns us into secrets
the way snow turns the world into afterworld.
Would it be safe to say that long-term memory is intact and short-term memory is where the deficit lies?
Safe: (adj.) 1. protected from or not exposed to danger or risk; not likely to be harmed or lost. 2. uninjured; with no harm done.
Safe: (noun) 1. a strong fireproof cabinet with a complex lock, used for the storage
of valuables. 2. a condom.
How many concussions has he sustained in his career, to your knowledge?
782 lights line the roof of Joe Louis Arena he said after his last fight
what is the truth if not a wound I remember as a heart
-beat & he remembers not at all?
Tell me about his family.
What is a family? A fracture in the ice
over a lake? The feral wind. Hands
longing a dollar, or diamonds, or a picture
of whoever we pretend to be in public.
Or is it how we’ve always been alone
in the world? The kids we might fuck up
if they don’t understand where
they come from? The wind that takes
& takes what isn’t nailed down?
How would you describe his mood swings? Any CTE symptoms?
Hurricanes nest in our backyard. Lightning struck
& caught the yard on fire during a monsoon last year.
Who says that lightning only strikes the highest point?
Have there been any change in his appetite?
For sex? Or food? Or safety, when he is, again,
a small child that I coax out of the dark?
For another kid amidst the panic of two kids?
This wolfish hunger that’s his: for light, for asylum.
For a body to climb inside other than his own.
For this world to remember.
What treatment has he had up to this point?
Does wine count? Feverish night-rides through rain-
slick streets. Sleep, & no sleep. Rehashing two or three thoughts on a loop.
Sewing: the needle held tight, the push-back of the fabric
so like skin. Scrubbing tile floors to distill the weather in his brain.
But what human has ever been able to turn off the rain?
What are the most significant changes you’ve noticed over the last twenty-plus years?
When he says love, he means he can’t stay here
like this. He means his hands shake all day.
He means he can’t control his closed fists. The early
dark. Any god or human who condemns him as missing.
Or whomever, already, we miss, & miss, & miss.