I remember
almost nothing
from my elementary years.

Holes the size of six years,
tumors in my brain,
drowning all but
bits and pieces of bad days:

a book cracked
over my brother's head,
porcelain shattered in my face,
my only friend asking
could we kiss behind the bushes,
beside her swimming pool,
our pale faces afterwards
as we feared hellfire to pay,
and the door
slamming shut in her face
as my parents decided
she would not return.

I remember
the years that I spoke,
and the decade afterwards
in which I choked it back,
but I cannot recall
the moment words slipped from my mind.
That memory lies on the tip of my tongue,
a key resting in its hole with no hand to turn it.