ÉLÉGIE POUR PARIS

It must begin with the children:
a slow and steady lesson,
delicately delivered,
that the page of a book
is lighter than dogma,
more faithful than the trigger of a gun.
Alright.
Done.

It must begin with a degree of reverence,
understanding
instead of demanding
what we want —
no, what we NEED —
okay, fine:
even Chekhov said,
“I have no interest in what’s yours,
only securing what is mine.”

But still we wait,
from season to season,
where, in the parking lot of a cheap motel, 
an assassin peers through a scope
while snow gently falls
and, should you listen oh-so-carefully, 
an army of tides march through timeworn walls
made of sheetrock and autumns of circumstance:
still, we ponder the reason?
Moving from morning to mourning the darkness,
the night —
where is the light?
what is the season?
what is the sin?
where does it begin?

Again and again,
we must begin
after tragedy and horror
and painful attack;
starting over,
well-worn and nothing more…
(if only we were able to learn
from that which came before)
This is a war:
not of guns,
not of people,
but of “this-is-the-church-and-this-is-the-steeple”
and ideology and a notion
of someone’s sublime set in motion,
a religion of violence,
a terrible plot,
a terrible misgiving.

And we find ourselves again —
beginning another chapter
in the terror of living.

 

 

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