Cassandra

Blog 40 I dreamt of the unknown
Image: “I Dreamt of the Unknown” by Ella Orencillo, acrylic on canvas, 2015


The horse glides, menacing, advancing toward
the center of the city. O my land
o Ilium, the home of gods and Dardan
walls long renowned in war, four times it stalled
before the gateway, at the very threshold;
four times the arms clashed loud inside its belly.
Nevertheless, heedless, blinded by frenzy,
we press right on and set the inauspicious
monster inside the sacred fortress. Even
then can Cassandra chant of what will come
with lips the gods had doomed to disbelief
by Trojans. That day was our last – and yet
helpless, we crown the altars of the gods
with festive branches all about the city.
– from
The Aeneid by Virgil

 

This is what I know: we wait.

Wait
as one war rolls into
the next into the next
until here we are.

From adolescence I memorized the
assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria.
It goes back even further
but it signals the first
of the World Wars.

I could go back to
Attila the Hun
the Vikings
Alexander the Great
Julius Caesar
and the Pharaohs
but let’s not get too lost
shall we
lest we forget how
it rolls into now –

the last mass shooting
at an Oregon community college
the last mass shooting
at a black Church during a prayer circle
the last mass shooting
at a …….

Do we ever reach / last?

We wait and know
there will be another.

Cassandra prophesied the fall of Troy.
Troy did not listen. We still do not.

Then there was Beirut. Then Paris.
So many others inbetween.

276 sets of parents crying
for their daughters to return home.

276 living. breathing. somewhere.
We wait for release.
We still wait.

147 in Kenya.

27 in Mali.

Paris had received the warning.
Even New York
but Troy keeps failing to listen.

And in the beloved Motherland
3000 pairs of eyes 3000 mouths 3000 pairs of hands
duct-taped shut
3001 3002 3003 3004 3005 …….
Lauren Rosales

3 bullets at her back point-blank
on a crowded jeepney floor
3011 3012 3013 …….
a few more the same night

same neighborhood
12022 12023 12024 …….

When can we stop streaming
these numbers in blood until
we erase them with our memory
not even waiting for the next ten thousand
but waking the next morning
surprised from what
we had already forgotten?

Will it be / me?
Will it be / you?
Will you even / believe / me
when I say

“Tomorrow”?

Categories PoetryTags , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this:
search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close