Poetry

January 11, 2018 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION

sswj photo

 

By

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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