Tuesday, June 19, 2018

19 June 2018

I want to write an honest sentence. A small salmon-colored poodle ran toward me and my dog, off her leash. I picked her up, returned her to the address on her tag. A little girl, held in her mother's arms, had tears on her cheeks. When the doctor asked about the first time I felt depressed, I remembered a stuffed animal left in a Little Rock motel. I tell her the last doctor said I had a 99% chance of relapse, to which she responded that it was higher than that. I cannot listen to the audio of children crying from their cages, though I do respond to a woman I don't know who wishes the mothers would simply do the right thing, go to the legal portal. Trump uses the phrase “separate but equal” in reference to his space army, but not in relation to relatives torn from their children, because of course we are not a nation of migrant camps. They might not all be relatives, even if they cry. I love letters, but I detest the letter of the law. Besides, the photographs are old. If there is evidence we deny it; if there is none, we invent it. An older man in dreadlocks sits in the park where my son plays baseball; on the other side of a rock wall a middle-aged couple sets up their tent on a sidewalk. I offer them toiletries, catching sight of a container of Q-tips as I hand over the plastic bag. The better to hear traffic as it streams by their tent. My interlocutor points out that there are homeless children in our country, as if that mitigates those who arrive at the border with their mothers. Their homes shall be tents or chained link cages. They shall be flown to other states in airplanes, wearing Walmart goods and numbers. No one shall hug them, neither flight attendant nor sibling nor congressman nor judge. No one will clean their ears, or wash their faces or brush their teeth. They shall be our ransom and our goad. A small child surrounded by official knees cries. There is no poodle in the photograph. Nor is there a mother.

--19 June 2018

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