Is it not great how good we think we are at remembering?
remembrances: remember. Remember the day we buried a lizard
on our playground and bore a guilt heavy as killing a conscience.
Remember the day we hid our aunt’s canes
after we broke plates in the kitchen
or the day we climbed into the deep freezer
because we wanted to feel how
it snowed in the movies. Remember?
Remember how this language is not even ours and I’m using it.
I want to understand everything and how it takes
so much of our memories to become suited dogs.
At school, I walked into a history book on the shelf
and found nothing about my navel: not even a trace of how we lived.
The rivers we own were mapped for us, though we have been the roots.
The following day, the teacher took what remained on the shelf
and burned and said we have to start thinking away from the past.
On the teacher turning back, I saw a long scar on his arm:
a bridge, sort of, which snaked up into his sleeve.
You see, at that moment, I wondered how a bridge couldn’t lead.
After classes, mother sat me down, gave me a lunch
and said a day will come for me to understand the
wrinkles wrapping her skin, face and legs.
Thereafter she said to me: never forget. Never forget.