You would be so interested
in what is happening now.
State power on display,
systemic failures laid bare
by a virus, failures of care
heavier than ever, giving way to rage.
You would read these fires
as texts, pages ignited by desire
if not to be free, to be seen.
Nous nous rassemblons ici
ce soir you proclaimed contre
un monde qui s’acharne à nous effacer.[*]
Effacer, to erase. Those places
in Blue of Noon, ruptures
where words give way—how taken
you were with all they implied:
what might you find wherever they led?
Which was a bar in France, life as an emigrant.
We who remain, what might we tear down?
What might we build? I want you to see it.
But the book of your life is over
and I didn’t read the end.
[*] We gather here tonight against a world that strives to erase us.