Kazuki Mishima

Here they danced. There was a ballroom here. Before that, this was a cottage; before that, a farmer's fallow field. Before that, a forgotten tribe danced here, imploring that they should remember the dances until time should rot and collapse to dust.

Here the children played. They were best friends, then they were old friends, then each could not remember the other's name. The phosphorescent stars of their playthings wait out lonely half-lives in the dirt.

Here I took the photograph, I think. Half the memory is gone, then half of what remains, then half of that.

Here we studied history: names, faces, words only; the people were gone, if they were ever here to begin with. Here we studied chemistry and learned of the vast distance between particles. When I touch her hand, there is no contact, only a proximity of electrons.

Here I made a pact that I would always remember – remember what? Half-lives have passed, and exponential decay leaves only a narrow beam of hourglass sand, a tiny grain of projected light.