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THE DECISION TO FORGET Who will calculate for us the cost of our decision to forget?* G. S. Stop beside the still lake, passer-by; the curly sea and the tormented ships the roads that wrapped mountains and gave birth to stars all end here on this broad surface. Now you can watch the swans calmly look at them: all white like the night's sleep without touching anywhere they glide on a thin blade that lifts them barely above the water. They're like you, stranger, the still wings, and you understand them as the stony eyes of the lions stare at you and the tree's leaf remains uninscribed in the heavens and the pen pierced the prison wall. And yet the birds that slaughtered the village girls were none other than these the blood reddened the milk on the flagstones and their horses cast noiselessly like molten lead illegible shapes into the troughs. And night suddenly tightened around their arched necks which didn't sing because there was no way to die 133 but beat, threshing men's bones blindly. And their wings cooled the horror. And what then happened had the same tranquillity as what you see before you the same tranquillity because there wasn't a soul left for us to consider except the power for carving a few signs on the stones which now have touched the depths under memory. We too with them, far away, very far away—stop, passer-by, beside the still lake with the spotless swans that travel like white tatters through your mind and waken you to things you lived yet don't remember. Nor do you remember as you read our characters on the stones; even so you remain astonished together with your sheep who enlarge your body with their wool now that you feel in your veins a sound of sacrifice. *34 ...


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