the doctor says my mother is suffering from retrograde amnesia & it will take long if not eight years or more for her to kiss the nape of any hunger. i press my hands against her body & listen to the war on television. a child’s love is butter & milk, two thirds worry & two thirds grief. i want to believe in rebirth that what comes from loss is a form of fibrous light partitioned into many rays. my mother is a poem liable to come apart if touched without a heart. can i give her today since she has lost hold of yesterday? what is memory if not the proper noun for a woman caught stealing into her own body. i give my mother a new day & a spark, tell her to sift through boxes of photos & old videos & be ready to weave the welkin sphere of a body still empty with another inside. it’s uncanny how much she no longer cares about her fish flick pond. she talks to herself like a witness—the stillness of moths on a vase of tulips—the shame of birds without seed. a book lies nearby in a room filled with dust that light brings. picture this: think of a keyboard in a forgotten earth in August where someone presses the delete button. & when i thought about the petals of a dead magnolia blossom. i knew I wanted them to mean nothing & suggest everything— that we must make meaning to survive. how it feels to stand outside a house falling off this umber world. i look at my mother & see a door— where things go to lose their names. either way history does not end in borders. & i understand when people say you don’t miss what you don’t know, they mean there is no environmentally safe way to remember.