The Great Shrinking

The Great Shrinking

First there was a dungeon. Then there was a boat. We died. We survived. We got sick and never quite got better. All of us stayed behind thinking the others had been rescued. We found a way in through the skin and the hair, but haven’t found another way to talk about it since. Gunshots come closest.Our tongues were cut off and replaced with shiny new ones. They had motors that made them move all by themselves. They made funny sounds we didn’t recognize. We couldn’t swallow at first, but we learned how. We had to eat. We had to speak, but we could no longer understand each other. Just when we’d learned to swallow, our hearts were ripped away, our children were stolen, our blood became contaminated. Our fathers left. Not all of them, but many. We wear white, we reach, we contract, we release. We try to forget. We smile in the hope that one day we’ll get them back. Our hearts. Our children. Our blood. Our fathers. Our memories. Nothing has been given back. We are all workers. And so we never sleep with our eyes completely shut. Just then, everything that held divinity, spirit and grace came to be known as a man called God, a man called Jesus, a man called Allah, a man called Mohammed. A man called and called and called until we came. Until we got lost without his call. Until the sound of his call became defining and dull. We swooned in the thickness of noise and nobody did it. Nobody beat anybody, hung anybody, sold anybody, raped anybody, took the job of anybody, put the gun in the hand of them,  took our land from us said that about you held that against me for something they did for your nation is ours that they built on your ancestors back home away from me, their smiles told lies down to sleep. Their babies became trophies. No one ever listened again … to the call … except when the response made us free from them to tell us who we are going to be not theirs just his or her own. You can’t just love them when it’s easy and safe. A sensitive soul will seek comfort wherever it can be found. Dodging stray bullets, he lived his life for today. When tomorrow came she was still alive. He didn’t know how to live inside a time never promised to come for him with everyone by themselves together all the time. No one heard him scream. Them scream. A sound. Skipping steps along the way he fell and hurt himself again. Excuse me, where is the place that no one benefits off the suffering of another. I want to go there. Will you take me? I know you have been well to do by our ancestors wish I could stay happy to go back where I will return from soon… but alas I am saddened that I can not go green today when red and black is all eye sea. They asked him why she was sad. He continued … I turned myself into a song when my body was too weak to dance and words when my song became noise. For when it is over, the great shrinking begins, the tightness in my chest comes back, the rock sinks down to the bottom, the humming bird takes flight once more. The ghosts will once again laugh, cry and whisper stories into my eyes. I will again become no one walking in the maze. No money. No face. A forgotten moment celebrated by those who where there. A body that was first in the dungeon … then on the boat, dying, surviving, getting sick and never quite getting better … staying behind thinking the others had been rescued … just then, the trees were made of glass … A lady told me I had no soul.” I said, my drum was hidden from me but your drum helped me find it again. Thank you. She said, “Why do you care so much about race?” … I say … because in my country … I have been running it for both of us. I was tricked. My drum was never taken away. It just became a memory of yours and yours a memory of hours, but it never left my heart, my children, my blood, my fathers, my memories. YOU – I do not recognize ME-YOU. This is the reason why both you and I try to forget-remember. Can you find it in my heart not to judge you for that which they think is wrong? … He replied, “I can certainly not begin to know where to start. Just then … the water was on fire and THEY-WE-US-THEM could not stop the bleeding. The fish died. The angels plunged into the sea. Rage rose into the sky is crying. The blood was everywhere on everyone’s hands at the same time. No one did what they told us … the angels … the elders … so now, we all wait for the scabs to form that never come. The gates were left open. Now strangers walk in all day. Now I must disappear.

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