Smudge

On this heavy memory:

  • Fifty-six people write to Sixty Minutes complaining that they remember everything that has ever happened to them with perfect clarity, all of them are sad by the end of the letter, words smeared. A body is meant to throw things out of the wagon as the hill gets steeper, but we, that sticky  circle, keep adding leather belts, duct tape, wood glue– anything to keep as much as possible. Stubborn packrats. Red ants with horrible back pain.
  • Does it do any good that when I slide my tongue back into my mouth, I can taste him perfectly? Tea tree oil. Weed. Onions. Does it do any good that I can feel this mixture in striking detail, drowning some vein of my tongue every time I talk about him?
  • At what point has something died too many times to be dissected any further? At what point am I building a patchwork monster more than I am slicing open, doing justice, putting to rest. There is no coin through the heart. There is no apology slid into a tiny glass canister and swallowed like aspirin.
  • Each time you remember something, it gets a little blurrier. A copy of a copy. I am a curator of soup. Professional at peeling, boiling, mashing until the form can’t be reconstituted. Everything is smeared.
  • What good is a scream in a language too smeared to understand? What is it about a scream, sound that breaks glass, that gets revenge on language?
  • If I remember every word you said: this wouldn’t be like the others, I am going to stay, you click into my life, a shape that can’t be refilled, so on & so on, smudge & smudge, but you remember none of it, which of us is lying?
  • This is more than a party trick.
  • SMUDGE /n/
    |sməj|
    – a blurred or smeared mark on the surface of something: a smudge of blood on the floor.
    – an indistinct or blurred view or image: the low smudge of hills on the horizon.

  • I would smudge this room cheek to toe, sage curling where you don’t care to visit anymore, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want you here. You are strapped to my back with a leather belt, duct tape, wood glue– you are a finger painting.
  • smudge of blood on the hills, horizon on the floor

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