I don’t mean to bring it back here:
the carpet sore beneath the undone window,
the small opening making open the big thing,
the etcetera, etcetera, dead folks, etcetera,
but I need to know what undoes itself?
what kind of latch without hand?
this is our undoing. woman beside me in the café
says this massacre is so like us. I think of the “us”
this takes, the ownership and likeness,
until I remember she might not mean our us,
maybe their us. but maybe we got an us too:
me, her, everyone who decides to have it.
I think that’s what she’s hoping for – distance,
something to climb out of herself through.
you know how you can undo a whole home
with the unlatching of a window? howl from the pit
beneath it? say “we did this” and “we allowed this”
and the girl beside you will forget you are white, maybe
will not query your us-ing. will not ask which “us”
of this country
will not actually say Charleston.
will leave you a window, open.
“Bree climbed that flagpole with such grace,”
she says. undid the flag. the window is open still.
left it open, kept the flag, let out no howl.
the opposite of howling, actually
this is the perfect time to sing
we, we, we, we
yet and still the churches burn, the window’s open,
closing it will not save us, another window won’t save us.
who is us and what are we and what do you do
with an open thing
that can’t be fixed by closing?