Yes, the fruit fly erases memories it no longer needs.
Lab tested linking bad odors and food, when the offers
smelled awful, it knew there would be food. Days later we see
given only the bad odor, and no food, the fly blows
off the first memory, bad odor = food. Just think now
of the earthquake woman warning the dusty rescuers
in Port au Prince, the lower part of her right leg flattened,
I’m a dancer, I’m a dancer! Don’t cut off my leg! How
they do. After anesthetic: after the tea: sudden
bright halt of receding sea: she will think of dance, the light-
footed leap: the memory of walking such tangled dream throes
of algae and weed, the two-beat thump of leaving her bed:
though this morning brings a lit space of sheet where foot, ankle
and knee are gone, as she puzzles the mystery of two shoes.
John Allman | The Birds
Contents | Mudlark No. 48 (2012)