Departure
Apr 14 2020

I have forgotten the word for jasmine, the woman in yellow said.

Oh, the woman in green said. She wanted to quote the lyrics from the only song she knew in Chinese. Now she held them with half a breath.

It’s strange to forget such a common word, the woman in yellow said.

Well, it’s —

It’s gone. I am trying to think of it… It does not exist. And I am not sad. Not numb. Not…indifferent? Huh. A memory ceases to occupy space. That’s interesting.

How — but how do you even forget?

The ivies have taken over the old building of memory. Their leaves cover the bricks. Their roots crack the clay. Into dust you go. The dwellers are gone, the tea is cold, the cup is a chip on the ground. Here is for archeology. No expunction. No violence. Just time, and the sound of birds.

The woman in yellow closed her eyes and inhaled. Her chest rose and rose and rose. When it finally fell again, she looked into the sky. There was no answer. I don’t remember what it smelled like. Perhaps that counts as forgetting?

Her companion looked at her with terror. It’s a pity, the woman in green said, masking her disbelief with sympathy.

To not miss what I no longer know? The woman in yellow smiled, her eyes hazel under the sun.

Hao yi duo mei li de muo li hua, hao yi duo mei li de muo li hua… The woman in green hummed.

What is the song?

Muo li hua.

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