How much we do forget past deeds,
those thousand little deaths.
Too painful to remember each,
we sculpture shibboleths,

subtract hard syllables, eschew
harsh words, the burden of regret.
Invent mere slogans, mottos,
only memory’s dogma left.

We’d rather live by artifice
than look into the mirror
or else we’d have to constant render
repentance closer, dearer.