• Vol. 08
  • Chapter 12
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Purse tossed to the floor, discarded amber
Cassette case peeking with one eye judging

Avila can't understand how the apartment got so messy. How long has she been looking? When did she begin this process of remembering, or trying to? She checks her phone for the time, forgets it almost immediately, and checks again. The sketch is in colored pencil, done with a set of 8, what she had on hand on the day-long train to where she can't remember.

One black hair two grey, tangled in a
Knot around a crumb of breakfast, can't remember
Chickpeas or toast

She confuses herself just by thinking about the sketch. Why should she remember tonight; or—why should she realize all she's forgotten? To think brings up a question of the difference—the kind that dreams are meant to answer, only she won't be able to sleep until she finds the sketch. She feels her nail pull a piece of skin from behind her ear and pulls the sleeves of her sweater down over her hands.

Desk drawer open casts a shadow and inside
Lipstick in glass containers with shiny metallic
Lids lined up nicely like the chef's knives at her father's summer house

Her pupils momentarily dilate at the feeling of her key ring, and the release teases her before she remembers that in this instance, she isn't looking for her keys. She tosses them somewhere random, out of the way. Which stacks of books would it be under? What was she reading the last time she remembered? When she tries to recall anything else, her mind moves first to the sketch, as though it holds a password needed for entry into her own history, or his.



Paperback Dickinson pressed under a survey of mid-century
Archeology in practice, rummaging through a
Landscape of the past in constant motion, causing sickness

She remembers brown hair, but “brown” is not good enough for a memory, and she remembers him saying, “I have stayed proud of you,” but she can't hear it in her mind or remember which low point prompted his openness, or if it was her moment or his. Were the moments theirs together before? Are the two of them separated by the concept of memory or its physical nature, or both?

Guitar picks nocturnal like bats, only out during quiet
Hours, or minutes, or has it only been seconds—phone which doubles as
Timepiece barely visible against dark leather sofa.

The free-flung collage of books, drawings, trash, newspapers and paintings has her spinning. She turns to blaming herself for continuing to paint—it only filled her room until she couldn't find what she'd be looking for in the end. Could this really be the end? And then—

Eno left uneven enough to catch the eye, and between two
Cardboard record cases a loose sheet of notebook
Paper reveals his paternal pet name scrabbled in navy and his
Voice reaching out to gently offer