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I remember yesterday. I woke on a small cliffside. I was covered in white feathers and wore a large beak. I knew that I was a pelican, but it didn't concern me. I'd been one before, once. Maybe twice.
I remember some time distant. So far back that memory begins to fade. I was human once, I think. There is so little left of that being in me any longer.
I remember the insect I was last week. Small and armored, I roamed what looked like a desert floor. I couldn't be sure. I didn't sleep that night. My life as that beetle ended in the mouth of a bird. I have died so many times.
I remember words with no meaning. Physics. It meant something to me once, but I can't remember what. Quantum Mechanics. Biology. Chemistry. They are only words now, words with no meaning. I have flashes of memory of a machine, lights, brightly lit displays. What did it all mean? I think that I built it.
I remember the first bird I was. I was a macaw in the jungle wild. It was a surprise to be able to fly for the first time in my life. For a moment, then, I felt supreme joy.
I remember that this was supposed to be fun. I don't recall why.
I remember the first time I died. I was a wolf, a lone wolf. I had tried to kill a deer, but a wolf isn't effective alone. I had lain on that path broken and bleeding before the end came. Then it all began again.
I remember a realization. There was something wrong, but what? I knew the solution. I had known how to end this nightmare. For some reason I couldn't. Now, I don't even recall the problem
I remember trying to end this. I tried so many times. There is a vivid memory of myself as a Peregrine Falcon diving to the ground below, and never extending my wings. There is the memory of myself sailing over a cliffside in the body of a massive elk. There is the memory of myself swimming toward an approaching shark. Each memory ends. Each one begins again.
I remember time. So much has passed. I counted the winters once, but lost count so many years ago. Now, even if I saw the year written it would mean nothing. Time means nothing when you live by the day. When you live eternally.
I remember that I once had a name, but that name is lost to me now.
I remember a family. I think it was mine.
I remember the sun, and watch it sink slowly into the horizon. I know that when I awaken, all will be different. As I go into yet another form, there is one more thing that I remember.
I will forget.
I Remember copyright 1996 by Brian Eirik Coe.
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