The postcard of California
is from his son in L.A.
He reads aloud every word on the map.
“Santa Rosa—I lived there.
Eureka—my family came from Eureka.
Then we moved to San Francisco.
I think I lived in Santa Barbara once.
Have you ever been to California?”
he asks me,
showing that another piece of memory
has broken away,
gone sailing off
into the dark ocean of oblivion.
“I grew up there,” I answer.
He used to know this.
He used to say he was from the north
and I was from L.A.
and we had to get special dispensation
He used to—
But now he rereads the postcard.
“Have you ever been to California?”