We laughed when by honest mistake
I put the cornflakes in the fridge
and the milk in the pantry.
when I got lost in christmas tree lots
and drove in circles around the block
we smiled to cover our unease
but when I lost my wallet and keys
we couldn't hide behind our teeth
so I got replacement checks,
but the balance was off.
The doctor likes to talk a lot.
He says words like aphasia
apraxia, agnosia which sound
more like goddesses than symptoms
more like muses than a gathering
storm forming in my synapses
lightning striking but firing less.
They say the Irish never forget,
yet I see my face in pictures
I don't remember taking and
people tell me memories that
I don't remember making and
my words are waning and my
brain is straining but
neurofibrillary tangles and
amyloid plaques have
backed me into a misfolded corner
that only a coroner can diagnose
like some sick practical joke
but no one is crawling out
from behind the couches.
My husband, my rock, my caregiver
takes my hand over dinner and
whispers "I'll always love you,
soon you won't be able to remember that,
so I'll say it as much as I can."
He squeezes my hand.
He leaves me crossword puzzles on the table
I'm able to do a few but across and down
leave me confused and sudoku is a lost cause.
I pause when I see him,
not because of his old age
but because I'm having trouble
remembering his name.
And Washington thinks this is all a game
that stem cells are more
precious than my memory that
embryonic studies are murder as
I get further from myself
because some Texan's religious convictions
have turned church into state
and takes a life for a life.
But I'm not really dead.
My heart still beats,
my lungs still breathe
and maybe this isn't even a disease
it's just all in my head.