January 11, 2018 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION

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David Walker




The Project



My colleague does this project with his pre-AP

kids during their Night unit.

It involves finding a visual representation


for the absolute loss of life at the hands of the Nazis.

Glinting thumbtacks huddled

close – as if for warmth – immovably stabbed


into a blood-red poster-board: each thumbtack

a horde of 100,000 Jews sharing

the same grave. Another student reproduced


Auschwitz with folded paper and stick figure

victims, a match strike away

from ash. I try to forget the symmetry in burying


these projects in front of uninterested teenagers

years after hundreds of people

forgot the origin of Holocaust and its signaling


graves. I’m starting my own project –

collecting concert tickets,

that gum under movie theater seats, bibles


that can cover hearts like a shield, as representation.

There’s a 1:1 ratio bullet

to life, realized exponentially more quickly


if the gun is automatic. I’ve lost track of my scale

somewhere in an argument

over gun control and mental health; or by the time


I’ve added another visual to the project, it’s already

inaccurately insufficient. I’ve

lost track of the prayers, too, because they’re beginning


to overlap like a stack of tissue paper wet through.

Bad analogy. They’re beginning

to overlap like gun smoke outside a playground.


Bad analogy. They overlap like thumbtacks huddled

close together – as if for warmth.






David Walker

David Walker is a husband, father, and teacher. He has work in The Tower Journal, Rumble Fish Quarterly, 99 Pine Street Review, and others and is the author of three poetry chapbooks. He is also the founding editor of Golden Walkman Magazine.

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