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Can you remember?

Can you remember things that have never happened to you? Because I do.

Memories, under the skin. Of cold trains and dark corridors with far-off sounds of dripping water. The scent of fear and snow. The pounding of your heart.

Dreams stark as bone. In which you are told "You have an hour to get out of the house before they will come and kill you," and you are taking what you can carry and you cannot find your shoes and there is a child crying in the corner to whom you are saying shush shush shush, singing desperate songs as old as the first baby who had to be kept quiet, lest it gave itself away.

And then you are running, because they will come and kill you, just like they killed all the others.

Or you are hiding. Under the bed, under the stairs, behind bricks in a false wall. You make yourself as small as possible. You eat fear and boredom and ash. You become mud, and stone. In your tiny space you dream of fresh air, and the sharp tang of apples. You dream of helmets and guns and the feeling of falling forever.

The ancestors are restless and self-entitled. They cry out Remember This! and I do.

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