After Li-Young Lee. For B.

When you ask me if I remember
our first kiss, and I describe it
you say nothing but squeeze your head
as if to punish the brain’s synapses

that since you were a child
have been failing you, making you forget
the first time you had sex,
holidays in Europe, all the reasons

you ever loved anyone;
days, months, years, wiped out like cities
and memories are still falling
away from you as easily as the tears

that appeared below your eyelashes
when you told me all this.
So I’ve put you down here
to remind us of what I just might

have started to fall for
that morning you lay in bed
rolling a joint on my favourite novel
having persuaded me

to think through the years ahead
to being 80, and to the survival of this
memory: smoking weed
at 11am, the taste of smoke,

the lung-burn, the giddy swell,
my legs tucked up on the ledge
as I exhaled through the open window,
turning from the wet street

to look at your eyes as bright
as my blue wool blanket; at you laughing
with the full delight of being
young, and beautiful, and (possibly)

loved, with a pocket full of weed
for breakfast, and somehow
having already become the way
I’d always picture you, from then on.