Thursday, November 24, 2022

Thanksgiving prayer

 24 November 2022

Here is the gunman’s house, and here is his chimney. Open it up and see the bodies. Fingers falling, everywhere.

Feeling nostalgia for “lives of quiet desperation.”

The rain on the palms this morning makes a neutral sound, a plinking in front of the wind; a view of wet laundry, towels and underwear.

I laughed when my father wiggled his fingers that had been a stone church and now were people. The gunman laughed maniacally as he shot. We're told we look for motive, as if motive were not repetition. If we begin at the bullet’s endpoint and reverse engineer the shooting, follow bullet back through body (identified by Mom tattoo by mom) into the gun’s mouth as it spits from a trigger pulled back at the impulse to mow, not in Marvell’s sense, or that of any farmer. If we keep following back into the nerves of the man who shoots, back to the amygdala, we see less yet. Motive has fled. We won't be needing it.

Stoppage time still moves. If only we could remain inside it, at once after the game and still inside it. Our field of battle is a strip mall. In Ukraine, people work at night because that’s when electricity is on. At Walmart, the late shift ends early with gunfire. The faces of the dead appear as still zoom images; each in his or her box. A funny face, a smile, one size fits all life, now it’s gone.

Here is the church, and here is the steeple. To whom do you pray, I ask a friend. The ancestors, he answers. It doesn’t matter to whom you pray, Norman advised us. It’s the act. Of breathing, I believe.

--for Kai Gaspar

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