Once upon a time a man took me to dinner, asked
if I’d been abused as a child, like that would explain it.
Sure. I keep a cabinet of curiosities —
but that was never one of them. See the dust?
Things we’re too old for slip off shelves,
line up to watch. In direct sunlight they’re small,
made of ash, disintegrating like abrupt love.
To recall a memory weakens it,
which means what exactly? Between what I want
and what I want to be, I get a little lost.
Blame the dinners where my glass fills again and again
before it’s ever emptied. Trauma and der Traum
aren’t etymologically related, which makes sense
but also not.