The Thai demon on my bookshelf
Is engaged in the project
Of forgetting as much as it can.
This is a laborious and piecemeal process:
Centuries of activity in Thailand
Seem less relevant now
To an unhonored lump of wood, but there is also
Its new life here; for instance,
It has ingested all my library,
From Xenophon to Kafka. Pages of German go.
As the rush of memory clears,
The demon becomes aware
Of smaller things: the precise quality of the light
At 5:22 p.m. 8 years ago;
The sound of my breathing as I fetched a book;
The demon’s mood as it dined in 1437.
Its mind is like a concert hall as the audience settles.
Now, after years,
The demon is forgetting its times table.
Next will be language and the use of its limbs,
And breathing. It will be a block of wood.
It will be free of the block and the cycle of samsara.