I have been thinking about the writing of death poems. How this practice can prepare one for the inevitable. I had intended to write a death poem on the forty-seventh anniversary of my birth (the beginning, I thought, of a new annual tradition) but I did not. Instead, I seem to have written a death of memory poem, something that I believe I must fear even more than death itself at this time in my life, though this is probably only because I have not come close enough to death while the death of memory is a thing that I have known closely for quite a long time. So here is my death of memory poem. Perhaps, by its writing, I will be made ready. Let my poems be a hedge between my self and the loss of my memories, a palliative against or a salve for the wounds that I saw on my father’s face, that I now have seen on my own face, that same face when I look in the mirror. My memory is gone. It is a broken thing beyond fixing that will just run down and down over time. But maybe these words, these poems will give me something that my father never had, something that he never knew how to find on his own, something that I do not know that I know how to find on my own and yet still I search and yearn for—a changing of the heart, a look in this mirror, a softening of the self (hard, hard thing that we make within us, our myriad actions and phenomena uncountable that we cling to, these never-ending evanescent folds in the cortex of time, these simple tricks we use to try to woo security to sit at the table with us, to say to us that we are we but not alone and yet somehow still solitary…). Perhaps I can find this thing for both of us, my father and I, though he is long past finding and I find my self searching still. Perhaps, if my memories must leave me (and it seems that they will) I can have them replaced with poems. If my memories are to be dislodged, if they are to fall to the wayside, I would rather have poems in their places than just more fears of losing more memories. What is the self but a bag full of memories that we cannot put down? Though we are boarding a train to a place of no things and we stand ultimately alone on the platform and the bag is full of useless things and our arms are already full of all the things the world has given us that we did not want or need or ask for, still, we cannot put it down. I want to be able to put it all down. When the time comes, I want to be able to board that train with empty hands. Let me board it with empty hands, alone.