Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Between two bridges in Pittsburgh

When the plane lands I open my eyes
all I see is the green treetops, so many
I lose count, what is it about nature
and trees?  this devotion

on the road he tell us of the wars
speaks low and slow like a used gas hob
says: these were three counties, two rivers
two people replaced by one, I nod

replace is a strong word
like steel, erected to overtake wood
history does not celebrate the victorious
it builds over the dead, that's all

the lambs have fallen silent here,
he adds, continuously referring to Gotham city
where superheroes live
I cannot stop wondering why we need a hero to save us

it is simple how drowning and saving works

like the wind I come with clean eyes
in a rush to eat up the trees, the land
the stories: there is a hunger in me
that had laid dormant for years

my house is on the hill overlooking
glass skyscrapers taller than my arms stretched together over the horizon
to catch the possibility of being so close
incredibly far from the same place

on other  houses, there is enough art
to keep a child happy for years
to keep the adults watching
the child

in her house she draws, a white whale
in a sea of green and blue-
trapped, he is, between ink and paint
with fury to humans for their ills

in their house they host
our loud chatter, clanking of wine glasses
I wave my hand around the salmon on my dish
ignoring vows about ripping open a sea's belly for my food

in the light, the shadows come and go by candles
in the light, ice-cream melts over my tongue

below us the two rivers will meet like the houses
but there will be no mixing of genealogy
just four hundred bridges
to keep connections open, bridges to cut the river without hurting its belly

bellow us there will be music, jazzy saxophone
words about exile this
oppress that,
chase the words out of someone's throat with a friendly knife make possible,

your dominance

away from my body, in the city park
the birds are not aware of what people say
they have too many feathers to block their hearing
of oppress this and exile that but we listen

raise a placard
for those taken by their own devices
ink and page:the only thing that protects them 
is the flesh on their backs 

seek asylum elsewhere away from the words
from those who read with a name longer
than their speech of origin, we are all mixed up
until we find where we chose to die

You raise a placard, black and white
for those who lost a tongue
lost an eye, a hand,
while you are ashamed at being fully human

you raise a placard
for the times you feared your life
for the times you declared I do not demonstrate
I do not hesitate, I do not do onto others what was done to me 

you sleep under the stars
with a head full of wine
and a faint song carried from the river
to the tips of your ears

a song that repeats the name on your placard
Désiré de-se-re
the one written about in passing like this in accident
Désiré a journalist, gunned down at 40 years of age.

Photo credit mine 

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