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  • Writer's pictureandrew jeter

The Inevitability of Forgetting

Updated: Mar 31, 2019

It’s on my grocery list

but I’ll probably find a way to

forget it


I’ll forget

the list itself and pull an old tissue

from my pocket

when I get to the produce aisle.

I’ve forgotten the nephew’s birthday and several of the niece’s,

our anniversary—

but I would never admit that to you—

and the combination to the lock

I’ve had since I was in my early twenties,

now hanging like a dustcatcher

from a nail on

the garage wall

and bought for the gym

where I was going

to get into shape...

or was that the thirties?

Anyway, it’s been a long time now,

I think.

I’m forgetting the days of the week,

because there seem to be

so many of them


and they bleed


one another like

the rushing blur of

scenes past a train window

as I spend more and more of my time

making sure that I work

just enough

so I can

make it to

the weekend.

Forgetting I’d already booked

my ticket and hotel

reservations for that conference in Pittsburgh

or which country my

father is living

in nowadays

or my cup of coffee

last Tuesday morning

on the back porch

so that it was waiting for me,

a still, black-eyed cyclops


when I returned from work

or this poem in the

butterfly wing cacophony of papers all around me


the sound of

my mother’s voice

and the thread

of how I met a friend


how long that video store

on Clark Street

has been


It all seems to fade

filter out




under the pressure

of every new minute

just like every other new moment


it is simply not there

any more.

This morning

as I ran out the door

past my coffee cup

resting on my grocery list

next to the birthday card

that needed to be mailed last week,

I forgot

to say I love you.

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