Thursday, June 21, 2012


Dehydration malnutrition babies with cracked canyon fontanels sunken scalps and sunken faces deep eyes eyes eyes that look out from another world  eyes that live another world away eyes you can look into but cannot save dripping quinine chemical yellow b complex drip drip drip spike the bag hang the blood white tongue white lips white mouth call me crazy but I see blue there too starting at the corners of your mouth and spreading like delicate spider veins disappearing into your lips chests rising chests falling breathe breathe breathe one breath two breathe 120 breaths last breath wait not yet, shudder breath nother breath that was last breath strong heart weak heart rapid rate slow rate decal excel what the hell is this hell beat beat beat beat wavering now slowing now quicker now hope rises and falls with the rhythm skip a beat where’s that beat whats that beat gurgles murmers arrhythmias dysrhythmias your heart the only thing in tchad that doesn’t move with rhythm your heart stopping slowing 60 40 up to 70 nope 60 50 40 skip a beat shudder breath chest still you still the air is alive but you are not piercing screams tears spring from nowhere faces flooded hearts broken hope shattered life changes colors for those that still live it warm still warm now limp now grey now  hold you now in your last minutes someone loved you someone fanned you someone held your hand someone prayed for you someone cried for you  but you cool gradually i hold you in my arms waiting for the clondo back to the market  permission must be given to carry the deceased  you are still warm so warm wrapped up in a white blanket I used to have a white blanket I loved it worn and soft with the same checker oftwashed fuzziness give your seat to the woman I said it’s the only seat he said him sitting grinning her strong and silent and about to break one tear two tear stoic tear no tear grab the plastic bag grab it in your hand wrap the dead baby against you climb on the clondo hold your belongings at least those don’t die at least its something to hold onto back to the village back to the faces you left with a breathing baby you come back with a dead one back in peds the place to be the place to see the place to die the place to live the place to wait the purgatory of the anxious the broke the restless no money no money I have nothing exchange fabric for quinine quinine quinine quinine every one is on quinine drip drip hands and arms and feet and scalps quinine the miracle mosquitoes the curse bite one bite 2 maybe not this time but it will get you rainy season mothers shudder pulling bright shawls over strong shoulders please god not this time watching you anxious throw up once throw up twice take you to the traditional healer  splenomegaly the health center said cut one cut 2 lines and lines of small red slices  let the poison out of your spleen  the parasites don’t care rush once rush twice every 2 days they charge your bloodstream breaking red blood cells clogging and slowing and breaking and laughing Malade for 5 days malade for 8 days Malade for 3 months why now why today why not yesterday why not last week why didn’t you come thank you for coming never too late often too late always too late always we hope sometimes we never how many of you are in the ground are the worms eating you now eating through old rotting lung tissue raising little worm tykes in the hollows of your eyes one day you are only fire and water and rot one day you will melt back into the earth into the sky into the void one day the ones that loved you will die one by one by one by one you live in memories but what when the memory bearers are absent did you matter of course you mattered but how did you matter life matters one puff of life matters but tell that to the person with locked-in syndrome if we could ask him how could he tell you how do you know I decide you decide we all decide decisions decisions all of them a string of them a line of them blank before us sickening black arrows looking back every decision ever made and here is one tiny little outcome being eaten by worms parasites kill you and then parasites eat you and parasites in government suck the oil and grow fat and you have no rice no millet and you starve I haven’t eaten since yesterday I haven’t eaten in 2 days I have nothing I have nothing I have nothing try try trade barter exchange you say I have nothing i have nothing nothing else to do if you are hungry except feed you do you know that that you will be fed are you really hungry I would be I am never hungry ot the kind of hungry that makes you hollowed out and desperate that clawing other not the kind of hungry that makes me beg for food not even close so why do I judge your hungry why do I give grudgingly my leftovers what the hell is this hell whats that smell urine is pooling on the mats and tears are collecting in the silent eyes rags filled with diarrhea tossed on the floor old blood new blood your blood sweat and meat and rice and bouille rat droppings cockroach legs everyone is inside its going to rain the smell of unwashed and just cooked and dash of the wind on my face precursor to storm this is a storm it was a storm will be a storm  and then I burn incense and play Mozart and still i treat you with exasperation some things too mad to punctuate

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