“To an Alzheimer’s Child” by Shah Tazrian Ashrafi

It’s autumn now. The leaves are carrying quiet dust on their surfaces. Northern winds puff and relieve your skin from the unforgiving sun. Soon there will come winter. It will bring with it somber December clouds that would veil the sun. And the incessant snow falls will cover the old memories, the best memories, the memories most yearned for. Or there might be an avalanche.

Then you’ll see words hanging in front of you from the oak tree at the park behind the building with three spires. You won’t remember the name of the tree. You won’t remember the park’s address. You won’t remember how many spires the building has. You’ll even forget what season it is, what color of shirt you’ve put on under the jacket, and you’ll forget the name of the gas that you swallowed, thinking it was air all the time. Or you just might forget to seek refuge from the biting cold under the lump of warm winds.

“I’m muddled,” is all you’d say. Words would leave you like landing planes in reverse, where they would be captivated under the clutches of the calm air of troposphere. You would see those words under your feet. Your palms would be too frail to collect them, and you would know what you’ll want to recall. But your nerves will be resilient to make it a smooth ritual. For you, memories are like the pearls laden with love beneath the ocean. You don’t want to forget those. You don’t want to feel foreign in your own language, in your own skin.

I know you might find only your body on the sinking barge, but neither would you be alone nor would the barge be sinking. It would be just as good as a submarine. And throughout the conflicts, you would not become an outcast. You would still remain as smart as you were before. The copious amounts of snow can never cover your true self; for you are so overpowering that it would take a planet of them to cover your profoundness. Or it would take more. So what if your memories propel you away?

You’ve lived them. And the universe would fall short of tongues to deny that.


Shah Tazrian Ashrafi is a 15-year-old Bangladeshi teenager, who is eccentric, by nature and poetic, by soul. He’s often seen thinking about galaxies and the ferocious cats of the wild while filling papers with poetry and prose. He was published twice in “Shout” magazine of his country’s leading English Newspaper, The Daily Star.

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