forgiveness on loan

[Wild day. Wind so strong door handles are cracking off. Nothing is obedient to anything else.]


Some raw material from this morning’s writing (about a mass killer). Not worked yet, but – where the thinking’s at this morning. Meant to eventually center on trauma, guilt and recovery.


Healing for me would be him alive so I could destroy him. If not kill him, make him feel it.


Dressed, like a phrase. Empty, like a phrase. Anxious, like a phrase drifting shy of declaration, subject and object.


Big truck in a small lot pulling a K turn. I am holding wrens in each hand. Under a canvas tarp in a small hide boat I am in a grey storm, north, freezing into this picture.


Bullet is a list, or marker of a set, an abacus. Anabasis, an-abacus – in Roman, the loss of counting. You begin to count, make it a list, so you can lose count or lose the list. Sounds and smells like numbers, counting, unreal, like counting in a dream. Window throws wild white threads in the snow. A mark crawls into the wall. Impossibly, there is someplace where this isn’t happening.


He sits, not snow, but the cold in the snow, a stack of stones, blown there.


There is room in heaven for everything or what lies beyond our sense of everything. Because in this whole world I have no more room for anything. Knifing the sky to separate shell from shell; liquid crack. The conversation coming in clouds, in systems; you make up what they mean.


My daughter shot in the head still alive heard others shot four or five; I forgive you. In the moment before I die I forgive you or I don’t forgive you, there is another level here, past a story, past numbers, that is completely painful and completely peaceful to the degree that, please God, it doesn’t have to be human anymore.

Do I need to see you to make this work? Or can I be a robot surgeon? Can I send my metal in? Waiting hugely, everybody reading separately. Numbers go on forever but I can’t start. Math isn’t going to get us anywhere. Whatever I give you is going to have to be human. If I forgive you, it’s a forgiveness that’s going to die, like a person. Maybe of old age, maybe in violence, nobody can say. But I can forgive you, if you accept it, with something from me that will die like me, and be forgotten the way a person is forgotten. Signed herself over like a nun or a horse or a bus, became the thing that did this (act of forgivint), an obedience to this, or like listening inside the weather, subject to system but single and not systematic in itself. She sits on the wall looking out from the city at what used to be the world but is now the tourist attraction, tourists inside and outside the camp, seeing murals, failure, code, mass without homilies, tedium and street fairs, she’s uncomfortable there on the bench, it’s cold. How does my forgiveness die? She decides she can’t get up. Or she’s shot or blown up or hit by a bus, hit by the bus she is, I suppose.


I’ve given you my daughter’s thirty-two names. I’ve given you my son’s thirty-two names. For the forgiveness to work, I’ll have to get something too. Forgiveness is a motion down a way, the motion – not progress, necessarily – of a crime down time. For this motion, this avenue – there need to be two sides, two guides. What do I accept from the murderer? Or what does my forgiveness, my blood relation take from him? His accusation. His bare wall. His boy, his youth, his son-ship, the punishment he has ahead of him. I think he may have a forever that I don’t have. There is something in him that lacked the human contingency – that was absolute. Let my child be particular, not the idea of a child – so that she may be dramatically loved and then very forgotten – out of the reach of the murder’s endless repetition – he has no memory so he repeats and repeats so monotonously that you can’t see or hear him. Eventually, let go, ending suffering in the solitary strength of the remembering God.


She’s the first dead person I’ve known first-hand, who’s identity depended on me, my eyes. She loved God and God loves her, she’s in God. To love her now I love her in God. Can you imagine loving God, though? Bearing the loss is the second job. The first and balance is belief. Which isn’t a bad job; lots of parts and never boring. Well, it’s a job anyway. I would be fired if the only job were bearing loss, and then I’d be away from her. Can you imagine being away from her? Away from her I’m a dog without an appetite or sense of smell; I don’t know where to turn my face. I remember there was a sale at the drugstore. That there was a stick across the sidewalk. I remember that the world was a screen hiding hell and I didn’t know it. I know that the world is here to shield us form the brightness of heaven and she is in it.

(Making coffee – Mr. Coffee.)

What could pay for this? At first I was looking for justice in the sense that I wanted to have the last word. His last word wasn’t even in language, it was in metal. I wanted human speech, my word to end it. But time goes by and I don’t think that words matter, none that I know.

(Pulling the pot off too soon; coffee hissing on the heating element.)

So I want justice in the sense that I am still able to get into the story at all. And for a story with such a substantial terminal event in it to be ongoing, it has to be larger than human scale. I’m tired. I want to be worked up into an inhuman story so big I can go to sleep and forget I’m in a story. I want the story to feel like it has quit working – it’s working in a way I don’t have to worry about, like the motion of the earth’s plates. I want to believe.

(Blind caffeine fairies from the play Star explode out from the pot banging against the walls and windows, and adhere there, tremulously.)

Where’s the justice? Not here, baby, not here.


Everywhere you look, the same damn beautiful genocide sites. Spacious or detailed, well worked or abandoned – space people needed. Wandering, looking for the game. She was thrown from a horse: she was thrown. She fell down a place: she fell. She came to a mistaken conclusion and her breath was taken away: was taken away. There is a planet for each of these, a planet I can hate or at least watch, keep an eye on. But I want to give the day to the murder. My daughter is murdered: I am murdered. The dying, forward part of me says there is a big difference between these planets and what you did, which is more like the night. I hate the wall a car crashes into in a way that’s different from the way I hate you.


What’s best is that I was not there. So I can build my hate out of the material I tear from whatever I used to think was worthwhile in myself.

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