In the end, it was the materials that killed her. But isn’t this always the case, these days? she might have said, taking aim at another plaster sculpture. In the beginning, her thing was to hide bags of paint inside, to bleed an aftermath.
When she was done with shooting, she became mother to the monsters. It was a dream vision. Why? someone asked. They locked her up. In lieu of an answer, she returned to her creatures.
See the sphinx, a flower blooming from one breast, her insides shards of mirror. But why? Inquiries persisted. The monsters grew. To heal, she said. A joyland, she named it, locus for a new kind of life.
What kind? someone wondered.
One where when your face breaks, it bursts into a tree.
Someone called it an apocalypse in paradise. She did not object.
After we’ve read and re-read the last bomb-shelter bedtime story, enough that we no longer need the books; after the skins of our backs have collectively dulled the barbs at our borders, after children no longer know the difference between fire and sky, what will we know for certain, except the common ghosts floating among us like pigeon feathers? When the rags of our bodies are strewn across the singed lands of our erased ancestors, and we’ve burned the last of our vengeances in the name of the justices we stood before rights, when the mute children no longer need to be hushed, will we remember to offer a beginning in our next word?