Recorded at the annual Black Earth Institute gathering: Art and Literature Lab, Madison; Oct 7th, 2017
Split the Root
I was deep in the raw rush of marching while gluttony formed its own equator. My sister has a tradition of not speaking politics, which isn’t stoicism but occupation with the best leggings and vitamins. That is her Orangetheory and her body has always been strong. Citizens enter again the chapel of impossible action. Beneath trees, my father is struggling to trace his comprehension. He asks if I have anything at all to do and I picture the stream of protest phone calls to make, the buzzing news headlines, the endless required tremble of perspective. Yes, I say. I keep busy. Since he began forgetting he rifles through black specks of hindsight. He tells me plenty I don’t need to know. Executive orders roll in. My sister texts with her drifts and home reliefs. My father is what some call demented, a word I can hardly speak without feeling its brutality. Let’s just say he is neglecting the world and I’m glad. My sister is like lots of people, comfortable with a clarified thinness of perception. My exercise is all the petitions I sign. I realize I will continue to hear the earth falter, to read of more people pleading. How true the subtraction. I keep apprised of the evanescence and see churches and dance clubs. A neighbor in my small village stood by my water meter and tried to drag me into the dirt of his hate for the Sufis that moved in down the road. We can’t even hear the bells of their prayer. My sister’s replies always begin with unless. There is almost no chance to stop thinking of those old Jewish ghosts that once lived this. Wanting to honey their memories I make a new wish for their leftover spaces. Wrongs appear every night in another slumber party I’m having with reporters. My dreams are so important. Now I’m exhausted and there are reams of bleached data. Few direct us to look at what’s missing. My sister is lifting her weights, jogging between disappearance, petting her puppy, staying close to her myth of forging her future. My sister is laughing. I think this over and over. She is the finest sister. She has been part of me for so long. We shared a playground. My father took us in our Buick on trips and we sat in the back, swimming in happiness, singing songs that only got worse as they continued. The car never quavered because my father was a very good driver. When I can’t tend any of this, I put my littlest finger in my husband’s mouth and let him draw out the fear.
first published at Love’s Executive Order: https://www.lovesexecutiveorder.com/