I only know a fraction of him —
a pageful or two of stories from a book worn down by time
and suicidal neurons, a prized artifact from a history
only he could flesh out.
But even so, most days I know him
more than he even knows himself.
Every time he speaks, his rhetoric is a faded picture,
bleak, fraught with fear and anger and confusion.
He often speaks of the world from two decades ago,
Sometimes I am "Georgie" or "Tim", most of the time
I'm nameless. Sometimes grandma's dead,
most of the time she's still alive.
Mama said it's like our games of hide-and-seek
that all the cousins enjoyed playing, expect
that it's rigged and no kid could could ever enjoy it.
His own brain counts and counts, forgetting
the next number and never really reaching
But in his game of hide-and-seek he never
stopped counting. While his neurons wage war on themselves,
gnawing on each other until their blood paints
the memories in a crimson mess,
he never forgot how to open Jelly Ace cups,
how to read poems and prose, how to ask and answer,
to talk and listen, to wait for his wife in our
front porch up till sunset.
In the end, when all is
his life a mere wisp of
he never forgot how to