Paper Cracks

When a younger manI wrote down in a spiral notebook
all the names of the girls I loved
to commemorate and memorialize
for all the years to come.
I would never forget them, surely,
but this book would permanently record
these affairs of the heart
– or almost affairs
– or looks askance.
Whenever I knew their names, I took them down.

Generations later: my brain is mush,
my memories are dust
and I look to the book
to see what the stupid boy had to think about
and to try to jog what few neurons remain
out of their rotted cavernous beds.

The spiral is bent into purposelessness.
The pages are barely in their place
yellowed and cracked
but the pencil etchings that I thought
would stand the test of time?
Pale illegible scratch marks
forever lost.

My past is buried with my memories.

There is no doubt a lesson to be found
somewhere herein
but were I to write it down
how would I ever find it again?

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