Flesh of the Empire

Listening in the wake of colonization by noise.

brown and white stallions running in a field

When they came for the silence of our sacred, the colonizers hid their weapons behind badges of efficiency. Speed! They said, by way of greeting, planting flags in the flesh of our flesh. Waking from sedation, we took them in, saying, Mine! rather than Out!  

After that, movement meant aggravating wounds. A body learns to stay, shouting, Here I am! Forget the still, small voice. We thought at first of walking to one another with the stories we wove, but the invaders caught our song on the wind, and blocked that, too––for a time, anyway. Trespass of the mind became a punishable offense.

Consider concrete and a moving substance, how it alters the path. The shape of a river changes. You get wind tunnels. The dammed river becomes a reservoir, its former trajectory a wasteland.  Then what?

The living will move. What this does to memory remains, as the saying goes, to be seen.

We looked and listened. Hands reached and bones breathed. There was a whisper beneath the gale, saying, Rise. No one was watching, and we heard.

Author: Stacey C. Johnson

I keep watch and listen, mostly in dark places.

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