- The New Normal
(The following poem is indebted to Walter Benjamin’s rather cryptic remark on the messianic condition: “Everything will be as it is now, just a little different.”)
Nothing has changedthough thingsare different now.What we do nowwe have always done;what we do nowwe have never done.
Somewhereskulls are stillcracked,necks broken,the intimacy of violence stillfastenedto its prevention.
Somewherefaces are stillhalf-exposedto light,half-coveredby shadow.
Somewherea child is stillbeing takenwhile the oddsare beatenby others.
Nowherecan anyonebreathe easy, [End Page 11] the airno longer the samesince handsturned enemies,mouths missiles,embraces garottes.
Nowhereto restorethat somewheretaken for granted:the gift of smilesas bodies collidewhen trains brake.
Nowherea line of flight,everywhererubble-heapssky-highwhere somethinglike an angelmay lie.
Everywherea little different,the differencematters littleor matters mostlike sunlightenteringthe narrow gate. [End Page 12]