I disembarked in Budapest, passed the Zimmer Frei
ladies and their ham-fisted pitches, made my way to our
old address, looked for a sticker, with the name reversed:
Egan Sara, the custom in Hungarian, but it’d been peeled
off; tried the door, knowing it would be locked now.
Something small gave, likely broken, then I was inside
the long green-grey hallway with its retrograde air.
I took the elevator to the fourth floor, memory allied
to base curiosity: we never knew who had followed us.
To read other lives through a blank door requires skills
I am not allowed: it presented exactly the remembered
image, the same cracked version they’d built you after
the elegant one had been kicked in one morning
by that junkie looking for pills. Nameplates on
the other three doors of the landing were each new;
I couldn’t ring. The entire area, carelessly, was
and not. As I rarely did, I took all the stairs
stopping at a calendar with its magnetic red square
around this day, two years from when we were here
last. Nothing to relate in all this, but that
sense that love is most a presence when it’s moved
to a shelf we can’t quite reach any more. So, I
It was as if you had already died and gone to Heaven.