Friday, September 6, 2013

Dozens to Zeroes


Dozens to Zeroes



The first dozen,
            Dropped in a thin cardboard box
Individually wrapped in wax paper.
Discrete, released
            Between tears and anger and fear:
The satisfaction of bitter revenge.
Crumbs and icing
            Lingering on neighbors' palates,
Washed down with spilt milk, puddled.
First tower fell,
            Old, orientalist hatreds confirmed,
Second:  new orientalist hatred birthed.
Since the first year--
            The raw and doughy first year--
Glazed with crumbled, steely, human ash,
Memory crawls,
            Arching from feeling to fact,
Justifying the wrong war, the long war.
Crusaders fall
            Into formations against infidels,
Racking up mortality, reifying vague animus.
Pain morphs outward,
            Each day, each year of the dozen
From rubble to stage to memorial.
Numbed and numbered,
            Iced and stuffed and frosted, for
Each consumer for each year for each loss
Lived and re-lived,
            Slightly differently: reconfigured malice,
In the mellowing shadow of time:
Where anger wains,
            Welcoming detached objectivity,
Building monuments on finally covered graves.
Consume sweet cake:
            Remnant around the bitter, excised hole
Of a dozen bravely endured--
                       
                                                Blood-
                        And-bullet-baptized, Oil-and-Shari'a justified,
            Daily battles with despair.                                          Baked and unleavened.
Dense, battered past.                                                             Decades to dozens,
            Birthing a second dozen, then pointillated scores, brushing loose                
                        the sweetbreads of centuries yet uncounted:  yet
                                                                        unforgotten.