Angels of Forgetfulness
by David "David" Graber
Coerced into our roles, the gift of sight makes us bystanders of suffering.
We hold as self evident
that someone still remembers the kid killed on the curb while waiting for his bus,
that his next of kin was the
one who stapled stuffed animals to the closest light post. But we don’t really know
who made the memoriam.
Is this a valid requiem? This light post, working a double shift as a sticky note for the
memory of a dead kid,
doing its job so well that drivers-by find themselves complicit in fabricating the
boy’s continued existence.
It’s good to be complicit. To make up memories that make it all real, because
dying needs an audience
to make itself bad. If bodies didn’t go so bad after dying then everybody
would have themselves stapled up
to the light posts and to the street signs. Then we wouldn’t have to hide in shame,
in the ground, out of sight.
Then we could still covet that being-looked-at which assures us that we took up space
in the world. To rest easy
in the comfort of knowing that someone thinks of us without our having to remind them.
He’ll stay around after he’s
done being someone’s son or someone’s seat buddy on the way to school, as long as the
bears remain at their post.