She is like plaque, that is what you say to her. Her face obscured; hair over her eyes and cheeks, her hands.  Yellow hair over the white cuffs she is wearing even to the bed. Her life is a mess and though plaque badly describes it, she understands what you mean. So go on.

There are filaments, pieces of her life spinning away and then again on you. Smaller and smaller things she forgets to do, you say,

and she is not careless towards you and you are not taking this personally. It’s the effect that bothers you. You say for instance she is crying. It not an offensive, and thankfully you have little to do with it. She cries for herself. But it’s tiring to be in the midst.

She takes your hand a little under the blanket. She is white and tired and tells you to stop coming towards her like that. No, you say, you won’t stop, because it’s not bad to talk about.

She’s fidgeting a little against her shirt and shoes. You push the hair away and press your palm to her jaw. Her face fill it in. It’s warm. As much pressure as you put into her face, she puts back into your hand. You feel through the cheek her teeth and they’re hard. Say nothing again to her. There are changes to make, you think, but she’s tired, she says. She’ill sleep if she can and you need to go.

But then trying to think, her face rises, holds; she moves her mouth but there’s no words.

There is a train nearby and you feel her listening for it. She says it’s cruel to say things you know as if you didn’t. That loving is saying everything certainly. You bring her to you, watching the surface of what she is saying hold and fall away. She doesn’t know. She’s already forgotten everything. Is now studying  in your face, or perhaps she trying to find something else, or suffering uninhibited for the first time. Perhaps holding to knowledge of forgetting, that’s it. Forgetting, that takes hold of everything you said and she said, and she is making saying things impossible.

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