Other Songs, Poetry

Jesus said, “Blessed are you who mourn,”
and the crowd shifted uneasily. Everyone knew
that Marjorie had lost her daughter just the month before,
and would have likely preferred one of the standards, like,
“Blessed are you, Lord God, Ruler of the Universe,” something
grand that might make the grief seem like less than what it
was, less like a shoe sized shard of glass kept in the nightstand
that her dreaming self would thrash from sleep to seize, tearing
through the bed by feathered pieces looking for a precious item
lost somewhere. The last thing she probably wanted was more
about her; or, was it the last thing all the others wanted? A few
searched the crowd briefly for her face to see. Meanwhile, Aiden
wasn’t in mourning at all; or, if he was he didn’t know for what,
he was simply depressed, and was that a blessing, too? He ended
up halfway to the other side of Queens this morning all because
he forgot to take the local shuttle when the train had been shut
down, and it was one of those little pin-prick failures that reaches
in to let the whole well of it bleed all over everything. He steered
himself between crying right there on the bus and smiling out the
window at the hour he would be forced to take from work. And
Francis, one too brave for tears, simply stamped his cigarette out
on the stoop he had been watching from, pissed that Christ was
there, speaking so directly of his life again without permission,
another page torn out from private conversations he had never
meant to have, hung up on the fence for all to read. Regardless,
each of these three died a bit there in the silence which then
followed, because there was no explanation tacked along, it
was only true. The crowd shifted, checked watches, started
drawing up their lists for the bodega, and waited while these
three released another parcel of the loneliness that thought
it could be solved in being filled by someone else; and
none of them grieved to see it go.

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