Amnesia | 失忆症

By and | 31 October 2020

You don’t need to try again, doctor, really
I honestly can’t remember – What am I?
Address? Where do I live? Hold on –
Ah! I seem to recall, I live in
those clothes, my son’s clothes, other people’s
sons’ clothes. There are a lot, I always wash them
Hold on a minute please, my son’s crying, ah!
This boy, since he was four, his father
has been tracking his progress from a portrait on the wall
these clothes, I live in them, but
then the fire came and drove us out. Ah, no—
That’s not right. I live behind, right, yes,
and they live in front. I don’t dare to go there because
that woman will strangle me—with her eyes
she’ll choke me with a silk band. Her voice, building up
cold, a wall, keeping us apart, me and
my son. But those flames are coming
they’re so unreasonable. My neighbour walks
shouting for me to run. Doctor, please come quickly
help me get something, that suitcase, that
kettle, yes, that one. And here,
this pot, hurry up, Doctor, it’s too late.
The fire was set by the homeowner, I’m sure of it
I’ve owed him rent for so long, it must end, all of it
all the begging, my landlord believes so,
I want to hug my son, he’s crying, but
oh! I’m mistaken, that’s not
my son, he’s not tall enough, sh!
He wants to help me dry the clothes, Doctor
but, I wash the bucket of clothes, and I turn around
and he’s taller than me. He hangs his clothes
saying he can fly. Clamp, and that piece
it flies, and you have to compensate. But I don’t
see how he flies. He just walked in
that door, the one made of glass, and then
gave me a whole load of hope. Uncle
look again, what is he saying now, can I trouble you
I don’t know how to read, Uncle, ah, no, Doctor. Please
don’t ask me again, I can’t quite remember, it’s too vague
the door was so thick and the aircon so cold. He walked over,
he finally came home, I know. Because that woman
isn’t coming home, her skin is too sensitive
in my room, there’s bacteria
my granddaughters said so. They’re adorable, my son’s
daughters. They never once let me touch them,
their clean little hands. So I know, Doctor
he finally came back. My son, it’s him.
My relatives and neighbours said he’s here
their eager eyes pry him out. It’s really him.
Him, and he brought a gift too, a foreign brand
– my daughter-in-law and my granddaughters. It’s so cold
the aircon. Thank you, Doctor, that’s much better
if you were just my son. If I just
had a son, that would be good. But I don’t have
an address. Where do I live? Someone’s knocking
Doctor, why don’t you open the door? Someone’s there
I heard it, it must be him, he’s finally back
since he was small, he was always so sensible, my son
he came over and handed me the dry clothes
came over and gave me hope to hold in my arms
now, Doctor, look, he’s coming over
he said, he said she said, the house is too small, next weekend
they want to take me there, where it’s so warm, that
old folks’ home. But, Doctor, no
that’s not my home. They made a mistake. But
they’ll come and chase me, like that fire, so
I went to look for my son, he was gone
then, I forgot where I live.
What am I? Let me think, hey,
I remember my name. My name is
garbage, yes, garbage, useless. I heard
my name, floating, from those gentle, sweet
lips. I remember, I remember who I am, but
really, I can’t remember anything at all, Doctor.

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