On Casualty

In this life, there is a language of wake 
and another for sleep. One blares its jangled 
notes in your ear at six in the morning. The other 

coos faint refrains from the eaves. 
You separate the wrinkled apples from the tray, 
line the coffeemaker with fluted paper so it's 

ready. There is a language that restores, 
and a language of betrayal. Casualty comes 
from casuelte, meaning chance, 

incidental; unfortunate loss viewed 
against the big screen called history. 
How do you make sense of that 

which happens, and what befalls 
another? How do you make  sense 
of the blankness on one side of the page,  

versus the dark stain where a body 
burned on the pavement? There's nothing 
that falls, that happens, purely 

by chance. Wind whips through 
the night, making the shingles clap. 
Another strip of paint peels off the gutter.  

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