Thursday, August 19, 2021

Charnel houses


18 August 2021

Above all, don’t blame yourself. The words you used to describe her dropped through the strainer at the time. New words circulate around absence, early foreclosure that offers only grief as return. His grandfather spelled “mortgage” without a “t.” If you could mourn the absence of a letter, I did. We need a bureau of spelling management to go with enrollment relations and student success, because administration never acknowledges failure. One worker was killed constructing the new football stadium on campus. Someone heard a scream; whatever followed was a variation on silences. Admin talked to the press, but not the student body. Take an inventory of your skeleton, Brenda says, so you can locate your left ring finger, your shoulder socket, the point in your mid-brain. The body politic clings to cargo planes leaving Kabul; some bodies fall on take-off. 


The falling body signals our time; our charnel house resides in air. Even water turns to tarmac at such heights. Taxiing gets you to the place from which you can travel, but is otherwise like the throw from catcher to pitcher. No one gets a gold glove for that catch. Our government releases its allies to their captors, twenty years on. The end of violence is more violence. There’s a bloodbath when actors jump from the stage to become spectators. There’s blood on both sides of the curtain; privilege comes with the ability to switch them. The stage crew’s stuck, staring at dimming lights and abandoned swords. Nowhere for them to go because they are not authors. A cargo plane is your mother. Six hundred men sit in her belly, too few to save translators, guides, women. The cargo plane is a butterfly. A young woman in Kansas takes her own life. Kabul is chaos. The pattern is too perfect to be survived.

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