By Teju Cole
I think of those who died today.
They held views on the matter,
one way or the other,
of our awful American problem.
They watched the last event unfold and thought:
More laws. More guns. Less violence. Less coverage.
This, no, that, no, this,
with more or less certainty or stridency.
“This is the last straw.” “How can we be this way?”
“It is our culture.” “Our right.”
“Isn’t this the price of freedom?” “Isn’t this absurd, grotesque?”
They are dead now.
They and their various views on the matter,
swallowed up suddenly by darkness,
their loved ones maddened with grief,
breaking things they’ve bought, pulling at their hair,
all that undeliverable protest at the void.
I think of others, alive today, soon to die,
(who knows when or whom, maybe you, or me,
or the him or her who’s more to you than you)
who with more or less certainty hold views too
that will vanish into the dark with them
tomorrow, the week to come, by this time next year.
Via New Inquiry
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