Between Beginnings

This very moment, as you take in a breath 
to speak the next line or just to whisper it 
or just to sigh a little, a girl is letting out all 
of the breath in her lungs for the very last 
time as the building around her collapses.

A man who is really just a boy is
holding his breath without realizing it 
because he cannot grasp the fear that 
he feels as he starts to pull the trigger.

He has no words for what he feels
and she has no time to make words.

And me? I am still 
breathing in.





(I wish, on this day, to remind myself that what was for us an extreme punctuation to 
our otherwise and comparatively serene lives is in fact a fact of life--yearly, monthly, 
weekly, daily--the substance of the narrative--for so many people in so many places.)

(This is, in a sense, a follow-up to this post, many years on)

This poem first appeared on my friend Jeremy Nathan Marks' project,
Poetry of the Resistance.



3 thoughts on “Between Beginnings

  1. Well done. I love the way you elucidate the experiences of victim, perpetrator and faraway, kind-of-bystander. It’s too bad this dance, in all its variations, is always appearing, disappearing and reappearing. It’s too bad we can’t stop.
    I’m late getting to this post but the date doesn’t matter because the message endures.

    Like

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