the pages of their minds went missing today
and wouldn't answer when they tried to call them back.
they went in circles trying to find them
looking in dark closets and under-the-bed spaces.
they thought they found them at first
in cardboard photo boxes
but the pictures were all too yellow
and the laughing faces inside were just as closed
as the glossy shuttered houses they’d never remember
no matter how hard they squinted.
until their fingerprints were full of dust,
they traced the shadows
huddled at dusktime with blurry hands plunged deep into jean pockets
and children playing hockey in an empty street and yelling
mouths wide open in some forgotten outrage.
in other pictures they thought they found
drinking around beach bonfires and holding lost newborns.
but the sand was always too dark
the hallways always too long
the faces all too narrow
and they couldn't remember any of it.
so they pulled away,
threw the photographs down
and opened their front doors to run.
when they looked outside
the houses were all shuttered shut
the pavement was too black
and they saw
everything real was gone.