Nearsighted

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Bring out the people who are blind, even though they have eyes, And the deaf, even though they have ears. -Isaiah 43:8

The white loops of the ferris wheel are like a mill,
churning red light into Monet’s river water
and making a smeared image on my Nikon
of the moment between the bridge, the red
bus with searing numbers whisking through
while the crowd shoved me inside itself

The sirens may find me someday
with the pop of wheels leaping over a curb
the crack and crunch of a windshield pebbled
to death with black bullets and plastic tarps
dozing over death on every street.

The flickers of ambulance fires like the red
Eye on the Thames are here in my backyard,
and wood is piling up beside, sticks knocking
against each other as I take one more picture

Never knowing if it will be on the front page
under the next tragedy – pictures of wheels and
numbers and crowds, never including myself

Because even though people shoved elbow-to-side
can make a stage fine enough for a firing squad,

Alone, the world will see you blind and forgetful,
happenstance tourist on the wrong side of town,
refugee crawling under the wrong state lines,
the trapped ram on the mountaintop, sacrificed
in Isaac’s place so we can snuff out our candles
and pray thanks for a life so lonely that we cannot
feel a heartbeat through a newspaper clipping
any more than we can hear the sirens coming.

 

 

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