Descendants of an aftermath.
When the smoke cleared, we left what was left of the temples and abandoned our sacrificial cups. No longer painting the chapel walls, we made canvases of our skins, our creed now take this body, and we gave it up. Nothing could save us, and we carried this truth as a torch foisted before our faces, marching into the long night. We were something else now, wild, painted creatures of flesh and word, with no more monuments to shield us from the elements that mocked our feeble forms. An awareness grew, of an element breathing among us as we moved, but we would no sooner mark this with a sign than claim the wind.
Of intentions and nourishment.
Born carried away, of a desire that will neither die nor introduce itself by name to a stranger, it becomes obvious that I am that, too. So taken––from every place and the self, too––I cannot arrive.
At the end of everything, when the flow continues, so does this singular insistence. Bleed.
Hand opens soil to hide these delicate hopes, even at the end and especially then. Flower? Maybe. Of course, they will be trampled, as lives are. And yet. They will live, too. There is no certainty in this, but there it goes, happening.
Across an ocean in wartime.
As tanks burn near his hometown, the young artist watches, preparing for the stage again.
A sensation, he will sing Don Carlos soon, against the blinding light.
The fatal hour has sounded.
His grandmother is ill, his mother stays. We can hear the shelling, she told him, days before.
A future full of tenderness. Our days spent beneath blue skies!
He texts her his prayer again, and it is Mama.
Inspired by an article I saw this morning in the New York Times, about Vladyslav Buialskyi performing at the Metropolitan Opera while he waits anxiously for updates about his family. The young artist is from Berdyansk, which was among the first towns besieged by the Russian invasion. Italicized lines above are from this English translation of Verdi’s Don Carlos.