Mnemonics
Paul Hostovsky

Whatís that Buddhist teaching again
about having to live again what you didnít
get right the first time around? Life is
suffering. How can you forget that
when all around you the reminders
are holding themselves up
on their ragged crutches
like road signs clearly marking
our perfect wretchedness.
You keep driving past at 70
daydreaming about love and happiness.
Who would go there if he didnít
have to? Remember the first time
you fell in love, how you suffered?
You were sick for months, years.
You were young and wretched.
She was beautiful and careless
with your feelings. Now you feel
almost happy remembering it. Itís
a peculiarity of the modern technology
that our own agony broadcast back to us
passes for news, even entertainment.
You had the most violent toothache
the day the tsunami hitóon a scale
of one to ten your toothache was a ten.