Creating the Past [Poem]

There is no contradiction more stark than time,
which points its arrow along a single axis,
bearing us, helpless, into the future
while its timelines are mired with multitudes,
contradictions,
fateful encounters and chance happenings
that abandon axes all together,
operating in the vast expanse between coherence and truth.

How can I explain time without explaining its in-explicability?
Time, in all its linearity, constantly rewrites itself,
for in each moment,
we overwrite the truths of the past
with the truths of the present,
re-crafting the world in our memory
into something inexplicably new.

Memory knows nothing of the past.
It is an invention of the present,
a clever liar,
a wraith passing by our window in the dead of night,
bringing beautiful falsehoods
disguised in the veil of truth,
truths that smile at us with familiar faces
we have never seen before.

We look backward
to look forward,
our necks bending to the past,
straining against the moment,
our eyes inventing the images
that we will share with our children
when we have finally
shaped them into truths.

Photo by Elena Koycheva on Unsplash

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