memory loss & grandfather.

my mother used to tell me that you can pick out the 
amnesiac in the room by checking their hands for ink.

remember to buy milk, remember to pick up dry cleaning,
remember, remember, remember.

my grandfather has amnesia tucked under his arms 
and thirty years ago, it started to bleed into his wrinkles and
every morning, he would ask my grandmother to pass the 
salt-shaker and tell her how beautiful it was the way 
she tied her hair up and what she was doing here,
on this side of town.

my grandmother grew veins of memories that august
and she began to sew tapestries with years stitched into
the fabric like daisies and she remembered enough
for both of them.

on the night my mother graduated from high school,
papi wandered out onto the streets and glanced up at
every streetlight he passed, trailing memories behind him
like bloodlines. he tied mami’s shawl around his waist and
knocked on the first home in the next town over and told them
that he was proud of his little girl and he did not know her name
but he would remember one day and he was proud of her.

my mother used to tell me that you can pick out the
amnesiac in the room by checking their hands for ink,
but my grandfather’s hands are like sandpaper and 
every time we talk, papi pauses, his voice whittling to
a cloud, telling me that when he dies, his tombstone will
be like a grocery list. 

he laughs, and i can hear mami wiping her tears behind him.

'i keep forgetting the milk.'

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    this made all my grandpa sads fall out
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