I always forget who lives
in my city.
No comment on them —
my memory’s bad.
Or good
for certain things.
Like faces.
Or items
on a grocery list.
Or the precise feelings
a book produced
in me once,
although perhaps not
its phrases or ideas.
But people, you
lovely impenetrables,
too often I forget
you exist.
I don’t find it hard
to reach out to you
in moments —
to recognize
your flesh and flutter
as mine.
Still, the grocery
list lengthens.
a party commences.
It occurs to me
I store a vast reserve
of sympathy for myself
inside myself.
I don’t know whether
this is a triumph
of compassion or greed
but I guard it like passion
or grief.