Memory

The weight of the rain cripples the name
of a person & place
once delicately traced,
like a a sketch by Toulouse-Lautrec;

all colour & movement, sweeping angles
tangled into a lie more real than the truth:

                                    who is that person now?

What do they dream about?

That the past is forever lost
is the only proof we have that it existed*,

                                    but the city,
the city stays standing:

poisonous giant always reneging
on its promise to keep us safe.

Just as memories will disappear
                                    so too will the city
& all those within it & all those yet to come.

Even the light will die in time
& nothing will remain of the elegant lines;
not yours or mine.

Our strange gift is to know this
                                    & then try

to accept it.

* J.M. Coetzee

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