Scattered Notebook
Published in

Scattered Notebook

The Alzheimlich Manuever

We are talking laps around the pool
your sentences are treading water and
I am freestyling, every word distantly
connected to the one before it, but still
smoothly motioned and pushing us forward.

your head is bobbing in the deep end and the feet
of your memory can barely touch the concrete
ideas you so desperately flail to articulate. You can
feel words trickling through your throat but they go
down the wrong pipe and you choke on them, heaving

I hauled you from the water and let you sit alone for a bit
to catch your wits and breathe. I try to massage your
synapses with a tempo like CPR and you are Stayin’ Alive
but just barely. when I ask you who the beegees are you
only scoff at the notion that such a name could ever be real

you don’t even know your own and I wish I could dive into
your head with a life vest to pull you out. the old you, not the eyes
that have “VACANCY” written by a finger in the dust under their lids
but the face with recognition rippling the glassy stare, if only
I could find the right stone to toss to break the placid surface

I tried to say all this and the closer I got to
the end, the less I was ready to tell it. you were
waiting for me to start. I told you that I didn’t want you
to remember. I only wished I could forget too. You smiled
and it meant nothing. You are already dead.

--

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Will Muckian

I write about the NBA. Sometimes I write about important things too.