From a letter to a friend:
They’re talking and talking about the 20th observances for the 11th,
with Biden going nonstop,
and there’s an article in the Times or somewhere
about a bunch of the books which supposedly show
all the ways we totally screwed up the impact & aftermath of all that.
Which is all true enough,
But I can’t bear to read it, though I have read a stack of such titles.
And I don’t want to hear all that retriggering retraumatizing stuff on Saturday, or today either,
Tho I know they have to do it.
I think I’m going to hide out that day.
Oh wait — I’m already hiding out. So where do I go from here?
But there’s still one memory I think I can bear,
And it’s the one in the picture, and the other ones like it.
Because it means that goddamit,
We few spoke up about that, the inside betrayal that cut to
The heart of things
So close that almost nobody could bear to speak or hear of it, as you and I learned so well over those years:
My motto still is, “A meeting about that was the surest way to draw a crowd . . .
But we kept shouting into the wind of unthinking mass deaf denial,
intentional coverup and
The unending insult of impunity.
We shouted til we went hoarse,
Until time’s goons came after us, as they do for everyone.
There are a few others left, I hear the echoes of their pleas,
Like the faint squeaks of an unoiled door in a not-quite abandoned building
Behind a Gitmo fence, listing open and slamming shut as the tropical/political winds kick up and shift.
Those metallic echoes may be the last thing like voices heard by the old men still buried alive somewhere deep inside.
I hope their Allah gives them some peace or rest,
Like he gave them back Afghanistan.
Which come to think, is more than we could do for them,
And maybe for ourselves as well.