She digs until her fingers curl in on themselves, the fuse of arthritis lit, slow burning towards generational gasoline. Under her nails the dirt collects and packs solid. The dying C batteries in her flashlight fighting a losing battle against the dark.
I would tell you they should be hung up by their ankles and that everything should be done to keep them alive. Give them water. Give them food. Give them mercy.
But let them hang.
This is the fate they chose.
And you! Your only order is compassion.
There will be no disobedience to God.
Disobedience of God.
The way for us to escape the worst of the consequences, the way for us to bend our way, like the early spring limb of a willow is to realize our strength while respecting the connected parade of sticks and leaves and trunk and that a death to one is an insult to all.
As the empires crumble the calendar crumbles, too.
We are the rings inside the tree. We are the redwood. We are the willow. Cut us open for the hula hoop.
Let us not accept our cynicism
(It’s the easy way)
Let us not accept our cruelty
(It’s the end it’s the end it’s the end)
May we all rejoice from the laughter, our heads thrown back, our chests full of oxygen. We count the stars.
The holy melancholy of passing time.
She reaches deep into the hole, wraps her fingers around bone. A love letter. A love letter. Signed with an x.
We will drink from the same cup.