Seventh of July/ An Anniversary

I dreaded seeing you again.

You came on our grounds
Swiftly, introducing yourself. 
Same grounds the boots we laced up 
start of shift
were stood.

We met you with your baggage 
of blindside
Bombarding our gates;
And I envisioned how
This would come again.
Standing before you now, toe to toe
Here we are once more;

 I already hated you for it 
from the first time you came at our backs
---You could have at least 
Stood at our chest;
A fair fight?
At least then, we could tip our hats 
with snuffles. 
But you don't know anything 
About that.

And so here you are; shoveling the taste
On our tongues again,
Bitter;
I didn't want to replay
The only soundtrack you carry
 But you've already pressed play
And I don't think it has ever stopped--

Revolting melody plays on, 
Polluting my thoughts:
Regret, 
Anger isolates,
Raging confusion,
Flashbacks and new scenarios created like
"I wish I could've just---"
Sorrow brushes on torment
Replay, replay, replay;
Playback, playback, playback
--a song stuck in my head ever since
The moon had begun you

You showed up 
Like the breath I haven't been able to catch;
Or the last ones you snatched away;
I can't tell which one you seem of more
But maybe you are both

There you go again,
No knocking
Forcing our gates
As if
A welcome mat besieges you,
It's not for your feet--
We don't welcome cowards here.

I have considered the bones 
You would pick; double-backing 
Scratching nails down our backs, 
I knew you would--
Revive memories of torture flourished in helpless
Reminding:
---I couldn't save the day. 
None of us could. 
We tried.

Standing still now, you force feed
A painted night sky 
of red spilled 
Puddles
On streets,
Our feet struck in hurried stride,
Splashing,
Trying to plug all the holes;
--there were too many holes. 
You snickered; you knew there'd be
 too many holes.

You stood there and watched; 
Havoc's wreck,
Scramble and rush,
Pistol and rifle hauling; 
Corner to corner, "Stay low! Stay low!"
Orders barked, commands obeyed, 
Screams for help,
Behind hard cover;
With no end
--You stood there and watched us drop;
You coward!

Now you're back as if 
we welcome you with open fingertips,
Why 
Why do you disguise-- 
You come again quiet
As if we wouldn't notice 
Or remember;

Well
There's nothing serene 
About you anymore
You knew all those
Eyes would fall quiet; stepping over bodies
With badges
Fearing we would steal the spotlight
Of pain and tired;
We weren't entitled 
To that, right? 
It wasn't our place,
Right?
There wasn't room for us too

---You knew you'd be the perfect hour
For push-pull 
madness 

How dare we
fizzle a blaze from a critic's gnashing, right?
---we had to be burned. Right?

At least the voices we heard 
told us we did. 
They didn't know we heard it all so loud,
The loudest;
 In our dark corners of the earth 
We call a different home. 
While the rest were able to sleep away
The anxiety, the fear, the stress, the groans felt from yelling 
into a phone screen
---We always had to go back. 
We always went back.  

We heard it all so loud;
No escape. 

But you came at us like a memory 
never to shake,
The night bullets penetrated the air
We were only trying to breathe;
The night gunfire decorated 
A downtown city 

So here are my fists clenched 
with,  'Hello, again'. 
I hate to say I still can't look you
In the eyes. But I can't. 
I hate 
The things you 
bring up. 
No disrespect to you---

Seventh of July

---It's just,
The grief, the horror, the regret, 
drowns.  
And we are still gasping for air. 

As Muziifer wrestled such words in that Turkish film I watched on a quiet night not too long ago, so I wrestle with them on this day of July 7:

"I want to forget you--
but if I can't forget, then maybe I'll try not to remember. 
There is a difference, isn't there? " 

 

 

 


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