the names

It was the names, the names flowing
falling, free-falling names coming at
me coming two at a time, three
sometimes; a daughter, a friend, a
husband, a wife…the street filled with
their echo’s, their stain hanging in
the air…a place I live a place now in
context, not a photo, internet video or
vague conspiracy but real sounds
ricocheting down concrete canyons
where dust and debris, where body
parts once flew in a single direction
where what was once a place of
benign unease of being happy to
an empty battlefield where the new
normal and fear moved in…ranks of
unidentified threats, credible incredible
all here and now…it was the names
the 2,819 vocalized agonized and in
some cases sermonized names that
soaked my skin…invaded my blood
fed a stream of tears rising from my
heart from my memories from my
realization…from the quiet place deep
inside where death lays waiting for
it’s time…it was the names that all
sounded normal, everyday and so very
much like mine that nudged that deep
place, that tweaked the cheek of that
silent shadow, that woke up what
should always sleep…

…it was the names.

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