Memory (Poetry)

Since today is the last day of the year, I thought this poem appropriate. If you had a bad year in 2016, well, here’s your chance to forget it. This poem first appeared on Novel Afrique on August 3, 2016.


Today, we shed the blood of the past

in battle. Memories wail, bleed, and are no more.

We watch blood spurt from the cuts

that our blades have made, like an artist

who, on the completion of his work, leans 

back and observes. 

Is there too much blue here? A little less light

there? What about the proportion? The balance?

We watch the images of yesteryears surrender

their throats to the chilly hands of death. Engulfed

in the flames of our rage, they recoil, shrink, then – pfft!

We have murdered our memories!
For, sorrow is memory; 

pain is memory. 
So: today, we learn to forget;

to not just ignore the letters of history, 

but erase them altogether; crumple the

sheets, and toss them across our shoulders;

to leave the mess untended,

the room unslept in; the house deserted. 

That house of cognition, with its high walls 

and massive gates and narrow hallways,

closing in by the second, draining our air.
Death is memory.

Today, we learn to live.

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