All the lines – in my hands,
along my legs, between my brow –
redden, remembering.

The weight spread unevenly
across the length of me –
quite short.

Here a little bit of my mom,
carved with a butter knife,
here my father, a scalpel
calm and precise.

They multiply and deepen
the longer I am here.

We were too cold to know then.

Stacked shoulder to shoulder
on green linoleum seats
wondering when we would arrive.

The volume of voices
young and irreverent
calling and rising
from the small sliver
of open window allowed
on this old school bus.

This would be the last
journey together
not again,
for a long time.


Japan is in the third drawer
beside an extension cord,
address books, and a handkerchief
I forgot to give.

Old journals remain open
in no particular order
as I search
for your number.

I believed that
on at least one page
out of so many saved
you would emerge
so I could say –