Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Into the Abyss

Marked Words

if only my father were here.

if my own heart weren't ready
to burn up burn down,
we could discuss the creativity
of protest,

but i stall
correcting my own ignitions:
then i can't get
over it
because i can't
in units of

i don't even know
how many. i don't
how to start. back
at thirteen colonies?
at forty-one shots?
at three thousand folks
in offices? at
without college degrees, without
good salaries, joining
the military?
at the thousands whom the kids kill
dropping some bombs?
at my mom's mom?

she had tumors
on her brain,
made her think she saw
she'd say, 'mark my words,
the building moved.'
maybe she was
prophetic. no, she was just
dying, but we are all
just dying.

mark my words (i try
to hear words from before
i was born). i imagine her
last-minute-prophecies were prayers
now striking my eardrum
(boom boom boom,
the buildings are moving)
close my eyes -- close yours
(boom boom boom - mark my words).

which is your building
(you are a building)?
where are you moving
(boom boom boom)?

whose words are we marking with
these tears
from before we are born,
with gravity and inertia on their side?
they start from hot springs of betrayal, fall
out of the eyes of prophetic grandmothers
who call out for gods or validation,
down their cheeks into the eyes of their children,
and theirs and theirs, down
and down until they leave
just dry tracks on the chins of us.
us. whose tears
are these tonight
that will not dry?

This by Kathryn Baxter writing for "Poets Against War".