For the record

Who’ll remember to speak of history
as the woman running away in the night
with only an umbrella and a child
wrapped around her neck under a rain-
coat? And who writes of the way
every window in the avenue closed
like an eye covered with a bandage,
or how whole herds of water buffalo
offered the music of their ribs
to the drought? There are women who,
long into their dotage, cannot bear
to hear certain songs played on the radio
because they’re brought back to the night
bombs started falling and every tip
nicked with moonlight in the garden
looked like bayonets adorned
with the limbs of children. Neighbors tell
of the man who jumped out of bed and through
the window and the next day soldiers
were wearing his clothes. The barbers
shut their doors and turned off the red
and blue swirling lights, hiding their good
blades. Fishermen gathered up their nets
and hid them under the rocks.
Grandmothers choked down tiny
gold earrings. So many stories
lined with fire and drowning at sea.
In every field, find the glint
and jagged teeth of broken zippers:
some of them still open, despite
the blood and rust of years.

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