Meena Kandasamy

1984 - / Chennai / India

Amnesia, selective

When memory decides
To no longer bear the burdens—
Of pain, or even plain indifference
She has her winsome wicked ways.

Some day, years later,
Life requires you to unearth
Some event long past and you
Set about browsing your brain
Like a desk-full of office files and then—
Come across a resounding emptiness.

Memories drizzle-fragile
Are not to be found. What
Greets you instead, through
Those yellowing sheets of typed matter is
The blank and ugly blotches of dried whitener
So carefully applied, then. It has a fading smell of
Chalk and chlorine: a blend, like memory, that works at
Your throat. You try to scratch it and the faintest hopes are
Betrayed as the caked pieces of the whitener crumble,
Displaying nothing, but toe curling holes where crummy paper and ink once contained you.
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