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Contributor: John Kropf

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You keep a memory in three competing worlds.

Scientists in white lab coats
engineered a world
that flawlessly remembers all your inputs,
your memory outsourced to a secure location,
like what a child thinks heaven is like,
where you ask God every question you ever wanted.
Until one day,
the server crashes,
or power is lost,
and the screen goes dark.

Since the time of the Han
the sheets have been there
reliable, tangible, unfiltered,
open to the page,
and the words are the same
as yesterday,
the same as today,
and will be the same tomorrow.
A dense treatise, today's newspaper, a 3x5 card;
you carry paper memory like a security blanket.
until one day
you misplace it
and it gathers dust on a shelf.

You and your synapses are
the ever present device.
You could be naked on a desert island
and it would be there with you
all you need to do
is exercise its muscles--
no external source
no object to hold
nothing to lose
till one day
you forget.

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Maybe the best way to describe myself is to look at my books and other writing.


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