Friday, March 18, 2011

Kate Schapira: "Choose your own (II)"

If you make it past the checkpoint, you enter a stadium lit with green and yellow lights—you’re already pulling the gray clay brick out of your bag, people are pulling gray clay bricks out of purses, fannypacks, satchels, briefcases, messenger backs, people are laying their own bricks—the bricks they brought with them—on top of seats, walkways, and below, the sweepers hired to sweep away the flowers look up in late alarm—

The sky is a blue shell you wouldn’t believe even if this story came true. Whose idea could it have been? Forming the low houses framing a courtyard just as they used to, or would if they could, forming hot blank corners and places to tuck bicycles, and the guards are shooting now but their bullets get lost in narrow passages and unexpected gardens.

To begin with if. The rags of our wounds never quite close, but clean clothes become part of the economy. Everybody knows each other by name and smell. Grim is not clean or general or easy; events always seem to lead, but in effect what it comes is back to this, food scarce, scabs, a guest at the fire. Actual relationships to a central governing body have not changed much but presumptive relationships have melted, colored oils soaked from them into already fairly poisonous ground. If slowly bad news became human-sized, come not back but around, if you are one of many, but not very many.