The Cartographer Of Memory
4 A Game of Numbers
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The Cartographer Of Memory
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4 A Game of Numbers

Say an arbitrary night (could be moonless or not

depending on the mood of the universe)

Say a man,

—our protagonist walks into a street and it swallows him whole

Say in this street he stumbles into another man's dream.

—our antagonist

Say he gets trapped

and our antagonist walks up to him olive branch in hand

offering him terms of freedom—

'A game of number and words'

to see how much of memory, he carried with him into this dream:



in a Northern night accompanied by stars

59 boys embraced sleep warmly. some of our boys are dreaming of water and girls

(some people call this a wet dream) some, of home—

somewhere safe from canes and bullies

and homework.

They have their dreams interrupted by a bearded reality

carrying the name of god in a turban seeking atonement for sins

with guns and bombs and fear. in Buni Yadi;

59 martyrs died for our iniquities but we still don't have salvation


violence is a living word a living-breathing word

4 boys walked into a quiet town and we rushed to welcome them with kisses of fire and gasoline watched it spread through the roofs,

of mouths that begged for god and rain we watched with rage-deafened-ears as fire painted bones black

in Aluu,

before 1000 judges

8 eyes burnt into darkness, we called it justice.


tragedy has many portraits. it could be a mother whispering lyrics of an old song into the ears of a deaf toddler or a boy waking up in the

shoes of a man he used to call father smelling of alcohol

and uncertainty.

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But there is a picture of tragedy

that has painted itself on the walls of my mind that I have tried to clean

but it won't go away:

1 man— an old friend hung on a tree chanting:

'Eli, Eli, Lema


Memory is not enough

there are dreams that never end.


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