Yesterday, when I was a child, I didn’t think about the distance a man had to go from goodness in order to turn against a neighbor – which valve in his heart he had to close in order to meet with generals and discuss what is an acceptable casualty; how he might have to compose morality to support the creation of a distribution of lies – the kind that make mothers wail with grief after a son or daughter has died or been made to disappear.
Growing up a few miles from where farmers stacked hay and milked cows, I didn’t know that there were ghost men, stone men, vacant men, traveling in cars, or by ships and planes – on their way, silent like assassins – doing their everyday, their normal, saying, “good work” to each other. Speaking again, and saying – “We do what we do – these secret dirty jobs, so that citizens can sleep at night – not calculating how safe we were, to how unsafe we have become.
This isn’t a poem is it? It does not look like a poem does it? I have been writing poems for years and I promise you this is not a poem. Look through the pixels of this text; squint your eyes until your pupils are focused enough to see me. I am not a make believe man typing – trying with borrowed words to make a difference. I am a human wanting meaning muscles to move specific historical mountains.
I wish I was a genie, or knew where a genie lived – do you know which door on what street I might knock to find one? I prayed and still my father beat me. I cried but my mother did not hear me. I have read what Christians, Muslims and Buddhist’s have written, but I could never get past the observation that each of these were bound by their limitations, and did not offer any real or vital way to see how a heartfelt foresight is a more vital part of a co-existing.
(You. Your voice. The wind waiting in your mouth – what to do with the sound of your yearning, your love poem, your God prayer, in a world deaf and inured to the sound of suffering?)