Amerigo (fragment)

My new life began unexpectedly
which is to say I heard an explosion
as loud as any atom split in a desert basin
and quite suddenly became conceived.

At the moment of this conception I had a memory
insofar as my entire memory didn’t just start
but became available to me once again
as though I`d been looking through a telescope at the seafront
and then a coin had been dropped into the slot
(by my father presumably)
and all that had ever happened to me came flooding back in.

Biologists will say that even if you were able as a cell
to begin at the first moments of memory
without language to describe what took place
there would be no possibility of truly remembering.
But then this is the problem with most of science
being so dependent upon the known.

How can I see the microbe if no-one’s invented the microscope?
asks the annoying child in Aristotle’s science class.
Ah,” says Aristotle,  ”imagine your virus, boy.
Write it down.

[Taken from the beginning of the short story ‘Amerigo Round‘]
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