WHEN AND WHERE

Memory invents another present.

As it invents myself.

What has been lived

blurs with today.

– Octavio Paz, “Preparatory Exercise”

When your memory lies to you it is your forgetting lying better. And where your memory occludes your forgetting opens up, and you are grateful. And your gratitude understands as necessary the measures that break synapses and jam fingers, take without giving without losing sleep, record your failure to do right as cathexis, believe the most arrant of definitions, and know your country is far more spectral than comforting.

When your memory gives you a double dose of I have battles it finishes with, “You are welcome.” Your memory laughs at you, your forgetting with you! (And you are grateful there is little difference.) For even in its shambling from front to back when there is only one way back, your forgetting knows best how to move you from arrival to any necessary departure. And anytime you are leaving you leave forgotten, as whenever your memory claims you wanted to organize your life around assisting and soothing, it is wrong.

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And when your memory is nowhere to be found in your desire for comfort, even when it is warm out and the nights are gentle, which direction shall you face? For you are more grateful by the day that there is no other present to be invented that has not already been forgotten.

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