Wind with barely a world in its path makes no sound.
And then the banner lifts and flutters. The one hand claps.
Bronze comes invisibly to life, and the startled temple
mourns the missing hand. Who here is not a child of bells.
They blow to song the abstracts of men through the open
garret. Who is it now, I wonder. And the bells turn back
to stone. Today I watched a movie of the killing. I thought,
perhaps, it would make me wise, responsive, or, in excited
horror, prone to see suspicion blown into a monster. I
am just one hand after all. A man is there. I do know this.
Bones of light, flesh of shadow, and as the gun goes off,
the wind of the known trajectory blows an abstract of men
through the open lesion. Who here is not a child.
Fire moves through broken windows and the figures in
a riot, and the names get taken down or lost. Night burns.
Embers graze the eye, but the movie does not change.
Characters are cast, in bronze this time, committed, bound
to mistakes they made or suffered or deepened by neglect.
Those who walk the tear gas go unseen. Some are pulled
aside, questioned, searched, and never found. Others
hang in the heart of the bayou like bells, and no one hears.
Some walk the pathless walk of bronze in the tower.
Forward and back, the stride of the breath and the broom
and the hasp of the flag beaten into wind and cinders.
However singular the bullet and path of light, the door
in the body swings both ways. In. And farther in.
The banner claps the air, and somewhere men prepare
the body for the viewing. Flowers release their ghost.
Overhead you hear the silence on which music lies.
It is template-hard, cold, steady as the embalmer’s table.
Say the widow is the one hand, her open bed the other.
The bronze that strikes her from her nightmare is the bell.
I have felt my own music overfill the vessel of the killer.
Whatever the misconception, it is looking for another:
a word to strike, a mirror, a wall. And now the movie
has come down offline. The children are sequestered.
The gun-metal river goes cold. Wind with barely a world
in its path fills and empties the needles of the valley.
Where there is a breath, there is an obstacle in its path.
America touches no one in particular and so a little of all.
It cracks as men in grief and office do. Every bell there
is two bells, one silent, the other made of words that so miss
the world, they ask, look. They break us open, and then,
in tired voices, break, so full of promise, they cannot find us.
Photo by Melchior Damu on Unsplash