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  • Narrative Is the Native Tongue of the Brain
  • Nancy Chen Long (bio)

If our life is what our thoughts make it,if our brain     does not stream memories,    but, rather, reassembles themfrom fragments stored throughout the brain,

if we don't remember an event, but we remember,instead, the last time we tried to remember it,

if we fold in our friend's recollection that it was a jeweled,    ice-blue January daywhen the car dove off     the causeway into the lake,

and his story supplants our memory of an Easter thunderstorm,    such that we no longer remember the stormuntil we read of it years later

in an old journal—being battered by the rainas we fumble to fix the broken windshield wiper,            the left veer into the lake

to avoid the dark suggestion of a deer, the hair-raising tingle        on our skin as lightning struck the shore—

then we must be mutable, mustn't we?—foreverhome, forever foreign, creatingourselves as we go. [End Page 1]

Nancy Chen Long

nancy chen long is the author of Light into Bodies and Wider than the Sky, forthcoming from Diode Editions in March. She is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship in Creative Writing. Her work was selected as the winner of the Poetry Society of America Robert H. Winner Memorial Award.



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