July 27: 11 Months

Startled by the number 27

on my apartment door,
the nearest cross
street to an avenue

I used to live on. Where

did it factor
in your life
before it became

the day you died?

No reflexes can wake you
now, no tallies
too low, temperatures

too high. You used

to say time
was make believe,
manufactured to manage obsessions—

yours, mine, the rest

of the world’s. When light
rain placates a summer afternoon,
I wonder who

did the making and what

materials were used. You would
have known. Which mattered
most—the distance

you traveled or the moments

passed observed? You kept track
of both despite everything
because you knew

no other way to live.

Another French Cold Press (or Bastille Day)

When she can’t remember what
she wrote
down yesterday, or

last night. When the lyrics
to an old favorite
taste funny

in her mouth. When
she turns left
instead of right to encounter

a street she hasn’t explored
in decades. Gets on a train

and gets off
in a town
she’s never heard of. And

the week feels eight
days long. And the quiet
in her head

alarms her. Then she turns
up the volume
to expose

a new silence
and words almost lost.