By Jed Myers
After the Missile Strike on the Train Station in Kramatorsk I try to imagine the instant rupture of steel concrete flesh, crowd on a platform in a distant town I can’t pronounce—how is it this sets loose a memory? I’ve never been shockwaved deaf, blast-snapped a bone, bled out on the ground or inside. In my click-window, the row of black bags. No more of those lives. Still, I’m four or five, my mother and Aunt Reba either side of me under the highest ceiling ever in the vastest room in the world. They each hold one of my hands, tug me along in a hurry to board. A great voice echoes our platform number.
Pain Syndrome You can open an account in a shoulder or hip, in one side of your neck, or sure, your low back—but you won’t know till it’s chosen. Then, it’s just a matter of making deposits, which you can deduct from what you owe the world. Look, it’s a pretty good deal. There’s a tear in your cartilage, tendon, ligament, maybe the spine’s slow collapse crushes a nerve— you send checks to that address, compounding your bitter riches, as if to thicken your inland sea’s sediment floor with that grit of breakdown, failure’s bone- powder, holdings come to far greater than any specialist’s arthroscope can explore. Then let the instruments poke into your hurt’s glowing red star of a joint capsule. Take whatever rays they focus to audit that fissure filled with your pain’s layered ore. They might gain purchase by increments, but never see all you’ve accrued. And the bell rings closing your day while it’s still bright as a morning in childhood. It’s been a fight, a war, and you didn’t start it. You had to strain against gravity. Your nature made you haul that child, elder, loved one or stranger, over the dry hills and through the mud valley, remember? It was the world that tore you.
Photo by Trevor Bobyk