Between the plea and the imperative,

the throat constricts, prepares for singing—
It isn’t easy, this business of remembering:
naming the victims, counting the limbs, counting,
always counting; doing the work of matching
letters, numbers, captions, to the fading
images on microfilm or photograph. Sorting
in the archive, sleep-deprived, the dreaming
mind faces horror after horror, re-living
nightmares of lynching, burning, flooding,
bombing, raping, shooting— Not even the sleeping
dead refuse this mandate: even they are rising,
pulling at sheets. Rending threads, unwinding,
they make us speak or sing: demanding, demanding—

 

In response to thus: new year's resolutions: sing.

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