I read about a bomber whose favorite fruit was dates.
Somewhere, in the annihilating light and the no-time-to-cries,
amid the sudden silica of the market stalls,
the whirlwinded bones and the misted viscera: dates.
A brother said he’d loved them. Said it, I imagine,
with the same lonely catatonia of the saint
when God withdraws, and then withdraws His withdrawal,
until there’s nothing but a word for what had been a world.
Someone picked up the pieces. Someone scrubbed the blood.
Someone clung to something human, and someone wrote it down.
This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 38 Number 5, on page 39
Copyright © 2021 The New Criterion | www.newcriterion.com