forgetting as commodity

1 August 2018

grandma disembodies her youth
as if famine isn’t a weapon of war
once she was pregnant
for the fourteenth time
but her husband doesn’t know my mother’s
name from Vietnam’s humidity
to knowing snow in her bones Oklahoma
she said privilege is the ability to plan your burial plot
or to know where your ashes will be disseminated
after mating mother octopuses don’t starve to death
her protoplasm betrays her
epiphanies are nutritious
my grandma said
if you can afford them
my frustration of inheriting cultural loss is equal
to Aristotle’s declaration that octopuses were dumb ocean mass
dear three hearted cephalopods,
the reflexes from grandma’s left fingers
are gone infected from scrounging aluminum recyclables
the past orbits her present strength
oh the difficulty of guessing a tree’s age
when admiring its crisp shadow
an octopus’s production of natural pigment
harms enemies and the self
sometimes knowing where you come from
prevents growth
old leaves fall to make space for new buds
what is post fragmentation
if emptiness is a pretense
what is queer visibility in commodity culture
but spatial subversions
grandma taught me that when octopuses
can’t escape their own ink cloud they cease

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