He learned a new word today: “orthogonal.”
It means “of or having to do with right angles.”
Sad that adding this word to his memory
means another word will have to go, but
that’s how it works. The mind is a crowded subway car.
“Orthogonal” eases in (turned sideways,
of course), while down the other end of the car,
another word is squeezed out, abandoned
on the platform when the conductor succeeds
in closing the door. What word was it?
Well, he’d be the wrong person to ask about that.
He believes all of life’s experiences are in there,
somewhere, and forgetting is like misplacing your keys.
Sometimes he remembers things he has forgotten,
but that only proves that ‘misplaced’ and ‘lost’ are different.
What becomes of things he’s forgotten?
Words, song lyrics, dates in history, dates he’s dated.
Surely, they don’t hop on the next train, to populate
a child’s mind because it has more room.
His grandfather said that the hole in your sock
becomes the lint in your pocket. Maybe the things
he forgets become poppy seeds, or tomorrow’s headlines
or those tiny red bugs that crawl out of old books sometimes.
He Googled “tiny red bugs that crawl out of books,”
and learned they may be psocids, spelled
P S O C I D, which first appeared in the Permian
period, 295–248 million years ago, though,
honestly, the images didn’t really match.
Psocid stepped into the subway car.