Prosetry

The Evening News – Alexandra Mayer

Black bodies seep through our T.V. screens and into the living room.We don’t notice at first. 

We’re outside, watching the heat from the Barbeque quiver.

 

But the gunfire from the screen drifts to the patio,

over the Azalea’s—a fleshy pink like my sister’s cheeks after too much Sangria—

and lingers by my mother.
“Turn that crap off.”

Then nothing.

But the clink of Pellegrino and polite laughter.

 

“How many acts of genocide does it take to make genocide?”

We don’t think about it.

But there is a man who does.

 

He’s a father,

the kind who feels like rusty button downs and lose jowls—maybe a couple smile lines—

But he leaves his son,

and he leaves his wife,

and he leaves his Barbeque

 

to aid the forgotten ones

to save bodies nobody cares about –

disposable and black, like the clip on earrings Grandma wore to Grandpa’s funeral twelve years ago.

 

And he wraps a string around his heart

and seeps it in their pain

drinks atrocity like tea

and fills up on rage.

 

“WHY DOESN’T ANYBODY CARE

HOW COULD YOU LOOK AWAY”

 

He’s seen crimson swallow streets

and war swallow bodies

and machetes take ladies for lovers.

 

He’s a doctor,

the kind who reeks of impartial and feigned condolences—maybe a stern handshake—

But when he saw designs carved into her body and cum slathered on her face

He felt something,

Perhaps despair, but not so deep he could crumble.

He never once lowered his chin,

but had to repeat, let the phrase squirm under his skin:

“I’m a human.

I’m a human.

I’m a human”

 

So he convinces himself he can turn rage into productivity

so he rages into the next mission and speaks out on the T.V. screen

the camera zooms close to his face,

 

But we don’t see him,

despite his ivory skin,

and we’re not listening.
There’s nothing but the clink of Pellegrino and polite laughter.

 

If we did slip away from the patio to turn on our eyes,

our lips would quiver like the heat from the Barbeque

and wonder,

“What could drive a mad man to reality?”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What could drive a madman to reality?

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