life is split at the seams

no one knows the exact number of the dead
not even the storm herself

though her course is charted

and images circle the earth
of wind and rain that hurl and whirl

swallowing everything in their path

(they laid there like dolls
one next to the other they laid there
as if they had been toys discarded in the mud)

how are we not drowned in shame
as they were drowned in mud
how are we not flooded by tears
as they were by the rains

(they were ours
they were yours and mine
yet we let them die)

so i will write a poem
and you will write a letter
and he will send some money
and she will say a prayer

but we will forget as we have forgotten before

we closed our eyes
covered ourselves up
when this island without secrets
this island caught upside down
spread open by the great storm
went belly up
exposing memories and guts

nothing has happened here
it was already nothing
disaster on disaster
mud on mud

(will the drowned ever forgive us
or will they spit back their water at us?)

nothing has happened here
it was already nothing
disaster on disaster
mud on mud
life is split at the seams

michèle voltaire marcelin

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