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
(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.