During the crisis, we rehearsed everything we knew, sending ambiguous signs and vague symbols––an ongoing SOS maybe, to some beyond––and watched the play of light, how it obscured the boundaries between surface and space. Which were we, anyway?
It rained and the bombing continued and so did the ads for flawless skin in seconds and the promise of a good night’s sleep, an end to mildew, air fryers. The campaigns were one-note, not unlike the bombs; some spoke of distraction, but who had the time? The babies were needing. The list was endless. It was never done. There were only so many of us, to hold them.
Horizons blurred, then sharpened. We looked and gave up looking. The crisis would splash across our faces. We stopped sometimes to wash them, turning away from it, sometimes into each another, and everyone had a story of a sighting, the something they would never forget. Bodies looked for somewhere to rest. Where? we asked each other. When?
Which is to say, I cannot remember where the bits went in the last blast, or what they were. I don’t remember what or if I was holding at the time, only that I felt it fly from me, scattering in every direction.
It wasn’t a sign or a symbol. I retrace my steps, rehearse everything. But it won’t take. Someone calls, help me. I almost recognize the voice.