POETRY
Alzheimer's and Tulips
Triin Paja

Image © Emre Ergen

Image © Emre Ergen

                                                   your parents’ memory
falls apart like an old, blue shed, 
                                 but somewhere they hold you

someone brings them flowers. their bodies
              are jars humming with a green absence
                                                          in abandoned orchards—somewhere
they hold you  

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my mouth loses your name
                        but I still hold you in my hands.    we live like this:

ivy in love with a mansion.           I cling to you
             after forgetting, I treat

the earth like the sea,
                                     bring flowers for the fishing net of your hair,      anyone’s    hair

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the window darkens with the returning swans—
                                      I forget your face but your hands, 

the most intimate color, your hands. the sky     huddles around the fish trucks. 
            a slab of light
                                    between your face and

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it occurred to me you might, like your parents, lose your memory. 
          your dreams, I know, gleam with salt,
                                       I cannot touch you, only listen         to the waves inside you. 

forgetting occurs like this: my body, 
                                             moribund by a shore, 
              not returning, a slab of light
                                                                     between your hand and 


Triin Paja is an Estonian living in a small village in rural Estonia. She writes in various cities, countries, forests, fields, riverbeds. She's interested in silence, plants, moths, and travelling.