We step over grey crushed bricks
and the entanglement of steel.
The faint scent of death still in the air;
every sliver of laughter dries in the heat
the dust, the stones, the dust, the stones.
The doctor offers a wry smile,
shrugs his shoulders and says,
“C’est la vie, ki pa—vie c’est une terib.”
He points to the grey slabs of cement
where the hospital once stood—
he counts eighteen—the women
in maternity with their new babies
and their families counting fingers
and toes—they were on the second floor—
on the first were the diligent nurses;
at the top were the broken bodies
of the healing—they are all entombed
in the stone—for days the scent
of their rotting blanketed our skins,
now, after the blue helmeted soldiers
sprayed the ruins (they have done
this before) it is bearable—death
sulks in the corner, like our hearts
which leap at each sound of rumbling.
The city dances to live, the music
leaping against despair. An old
woman skips to avoid a truck.
This earth devours the dead
with such efficiency, and we are left
with our heads covered in dust,
our eyes searching for familiar
faces, our hearts safely tucked away.
recap of quote: 'The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.'- Pablo Picasso