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your memory is stained with decaf

and the crinkles of Sweet'N Low packets spirited away

into the bottom of your purse from queens boulevard diners

on those brisk Tuesday evenings we'd huddle against in the fall


your memory is wigged, with eyebrows painted

in aqueduct arches an inch above your eyelids

you knew how to draw out curves, like laughter from loved ones' lips,

with the same effortless ease


your memory has soft folds of skin like

the inner layers of freshly-baked croissant

on your hands, gesticulating through an hour-long shpiel,

about nothing in particular at all


your memory has your feet up on that chair under the stitched Mets blanket

that swaddled you through dementia into death

it has your lit-up eyes at the ever-new loved ones

coming to greet you at your door


it carries the frayed edges of an old photograph

a year or so in

infused with the smell of old-country perfume

and the sounds of the soft grunts you made

as you sat up to kiss me

before i left you

for the last time

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