Oklahoma City: The Aftermath
Sometimes I’m so lachrymose I forget I was there
with my darling – I call her my darling to make her
more anonymous, so she can’t take up all the space
in my brain. But please, can I continue, or must I
look away from such openness, those spools of light
bringing red and fine threads of silver to her brunette hair?
Or is she an instant, a car ride, a little post-it, last month’s
no particular town? Can we shine a little first? First
there was a dust storm that made everyone invisible,
then a thunderstorm where each drop of rain painted a ringlet
on the road like haze around the moon. I’d already
deserted what crumbled there. The mind loves blackouts
more than those dusty bins of grain at the general store,
or the little hand-shovel you’d use to fill muslin sacks
with feed for animals you’d later bring to slaughter.
Then they were cementing over the childcare center.
the shell of state offices were still standing:
buried in the rubble, well there was no rubble….
Are we all so kinetic that on the highway
we’re always communicating? We’re cacophonic,
colossally bored, it takes many simultaneous tasks
to keep our souls busy. The breeze makes the ash leaves blur,
they’re almost silver in the light, like confederate money.
Or I’m driving by the Chinese Pistache, the lacebark elm,
brushing my teeth, taking notes for a morning meeting:
is there no one here to calm me? I don’t remember
the whippoorwill, the leaf brown male, if I ever knew one.
I can’t decide how this parallels our current situation:
So I take a few minutes’ cigarette to see how this
razes all of us. Have you ever been lax, insufficient, prolix?
Weren’t you ever particularly sorry? This may be entirely
personal, but once I was driven, exemplar, sheltered
from earthly business – now I keep burying and eclipsing,
more obscuring, suppressing with murmurs what’s under duress.