Picking Sides

Their tragedy opened ancient wounds.
Long ago fossilized in thick lead vaults
(Have you ever seen Napoleon’s tomb?).

Now pain is exhumed as the heat of loss melts
Glaciers’ frigid layers into streaky puddles.
Aqua tears flow into forgotten gullies.

Now it’s knotted stomach and fitful sleep.
Isn’t this the definition of Advent?
Or reclaimed doughy tenderness?
The price of ubiquitous window peering.
“Vicarious pain is real,” said the missing limb.

Now those crusty lacerations bleed thick fresh
Blood oozing red, raw and open in the new heat.
And dreams touchably vivid in anthropomorphized
Humiliation and sympathetic sadness steep black.

Now I’ve picked sides (my side).
Imagined reasons.
Crafted stories.
But as a wise man said back when my heart was torn out
“The fact that the sympathizers like you better only goes so far.”
So I’m sad for me (or her) all over again.

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