Endurance, 1946

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Endurance, 1946

Unaware of the day’s movements, she paints her
reply to the bracelet of light flaring above

the horizon. Tomorrow’s edict is gather,
as in retrieving a sister’s bones in black

rain, reassembling in thought
a smile that could not endure despite

its beauty. I seek a place
of nourishment and find empty bowls.

What is the symbol for peace, for planet?
How do we relinquish the incinerated voice?

Under the vault of ribs lie exiled words, more
bones, and beneath them, relentless darkness.

And whose bodies mingle in this earth?
Whose tongue withers from disuse?

The eight muscles react to separate stimuli,
four to change shape and four to alter position.

Turning, she places the brush on the sill
and opens the window to the breeze.

Exit the light, exit all prayer. Ten strokes
form breath. She does not taste the wind.

Atomic Bomb Dome_03

“Endurance, 1946” first appeared here in January 2015, and was published in Fahmidan Journal in November 2020. Thank you editors Ranna Kisswani and Anthony R. Salandy for taking this piece.

 

2 thoughts on “Endurance, 1946

  1. Intriguing to consider that all of us on this planet eventually mingle in “this earth” — whether via bodies buried whole, bodies cremated and ashes spread, bodies slain and left for carnivorous animals to distribute in one way or another, or bodies preserved and “protected” for years/centuries before circumstances disrupt the containment and they too merge into “all”. I find this oddly comforting — mingling, our differences irrelevant. (I hope to transition peacefully, and my heart aches for those who go due to violence or extended debilitating illness.)

    Liked by 1 person

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