How do we speak of certain griefs?

Yes I’m mother too—
though I don’t think I could even begin

to process that pain: the illogic
of a child’s passing before the parent,

the violation of a certain idea of the order
of things. I will argue such sorrow

could be but isn’t truly universal
in all those ways we try to find language

for alliance but always come short; for how
could anyone know? More than this—

whatever one might be expected to say
in solidarity, cannot take the place of.

When my friend says At the moment I saw
the cops at the door, even before they rang

the bell I knew. When the dumbstruck
father of the woman they shot as she ate her meal

on a makeshift table in the street cannot form
any words for a statement. In other words

I may know the pain of a child in pain but not
the terror of losing him in such ways, not

the helplessness of seeing the aftermath of violence,
its blunt disfigurements, its contortions and cigarette

burns, its traumas. Banal obscenity
of final objects they touched, next to

their bodies: the meal not yet cooled, the change
on the counter, the candy that spilled from a bag.

 

In response to Via Negativa: A certain slant of light.

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