Ilari Pass

Drawing Amnesia

No longer a miracle
in a delicate membrane
of innocent oblivion
liquidation of a people
rewrite books of Africa
make its way around
Gorée Island
off the coast of Senegal
to give her a new culture
invent a different history
take away memory
destroy books of slavery,
of culture and history
people begin to forget
the art of amnesia
the world forgets
and the language
why bother to take away
words on a canvas
that will become folklore
sooner or later die—
become a blank slate
if you ask me to draw
a map of my mind—one
has done so already—I would
try to talk you out of it
and I’d glance back at you,
and smile mutely. Next question?
No, I didn’t think so.

Ilari Pass holds a BA in English from Guilford College of Greensboro, NC, and an MA in English, with a concentration in literature, from Gardner-Webb University of Boiling Springs, NC. Her work appears or forthcoming in Paterson Literary Review, Rat’s Ass Review, As It Ought To Be, Triggerfish Critical Review, Kissing Dynamite, The American Journal of Poetry, Unlikely Stories, Rigorous Magazine, Common Ground Review, Free State Review, Rejection Letters, and others.