Saturday, January 4, 2020

The Burning Epitaph

What are humans to humans?
One noted publication
Quotes a Kashmir shop owner—

“We have lifted bodies with
Our hands, lifted heads that are
Separate, lifted legs that

Are separate, and put them
All together into graves.”
Humans make these tragedies.

Humans are these tragedies,
Not all uniquely human—
Ritual, contempt, and love,

The burial of our dead
Dismembered by our hatreds
Then tenderly collected.

Human love scrapes out a grave
For what human contempt claimed.
Human love, human contempt.

The sorrow of human love
Sinks through depths of ritual,
Aching to find more meaning.

The strength of human contempt
Strips itself of human love,
Leaving only ritual.

The ritual burns all night
For love and contempt alike,
All together in our graves.

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