A day of forgetting has its price, but a price
that can’t be reckoned, because the receipt itself
was shoved into a pocket, soaked in the laundry,
tumbled in the dryer into a hard pebble of paper,
a symbol of nothing specific enough to reconstruct
a story. And what was purchased is like candle scent
settling throughout the house, seeping into fabrics—
curtains and couches, lampshades, sinking through
the thin space between floorboards, until finally
it’s so diffused there’s no trace of its floral ribbons.
Which is why a day of forgetting also has its debt,
a sum owed to the thrifty, those who saved
against more than the rainy day, but the sluicing
and drainage of leaves and petals that pile up
and clog the sewer grates, the day of fog and regret,
those who know the exchange rate of compassion,
what it costs to embrace someone else, the hand offered,
the hand extended beyond anything that is owed.
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