“The Enigma of a Memory’s Half-Life” by Stephen Symons

The enigma of a memory's half-lifeHe is forgetting her—
the way water gnaws stone to sand
He is uncertain which parts of her
became dust or vapour first
What is certain
is time’s nuclear work
but the order and speed
of erosion or evaporation
is a mystery
Her details
have become sparse
like concrete dams stippled
along the fencelines of a remote farm
Red
empty and
rimmed with green traces of remembering
At night
the stars offer nothing
but dead light
and the ghost songs of frogs
while darkness cups
a handful of iridescence
to quench his dreams


Stephen Symons lives in Cape Town, where he works as a graphic designer. His writing has been published in journals, magazines and various anthologies throughout South Africa. His unpublished collection, Spioenkop was listed as a semi-finalist for the Hudson Prize for Poetry (US) in 2015. More recently, a selection of his poems have been selected for a special edition of Re-Markings, a refereed international bi-annual journal of English. He holds a masters in Creative Writing from the University of Cape Town and is currently working on a PhD in African Studies. His poetry collection, Questions for the Sea (published by uHlanga Poetry Press), was launched in June 2016.

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