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Winter dies, and snow remains. You follow the cloud-strewn paths, as you have countless times before, beneath many moons, some full, some shriveled. Often you rest at the stone shelter halfway up the mountain, and regard the skeletons of trees through a gaping abyss that was once a window. Night is fearful with cracking wind as you crawl under the rotten cloth that serves as a blanket. At day, you retrace your steps on the path, then press forward, then back, again and again -- all a protracted stab at remembering. At various points you do recollect, vaguely, your heart, drenched in red and very much alive, as it fell from your chest, through your vainly grasping fingers, and settled on perfect white snow. You
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watched as it lay there beating, and your breath could not come from your chest, because now there was nothing at all there, nothing to absorb and expel the air that clogged your throat, and it was like being thirsty. And to your surprise, your heart continued to beat for a time, there on the snow, and you observed as it finally came to a stop. This has happened many times. And yet you return, you recall the many places along this path where your heart has been ripped from you, all of them unique in some way, you just know it, but the memories flee. You just remember the heart, the red on snow, the feeling of thirst. And you look up, at the clouds that soar like ships, at the blue beyond, and hope.
It is a defense mechanism, this not remembering. When one catalogues the taste of a simple drink