We gave our dogs a button to sniff, or a tissue, and they bounded off confident in their training, in the power of their senses to re-create the body, but after eighteen hours in rubble where even steel was pulverized they curled on themselves and stared up at us and in their soft huge eyes we saw mirrored the longing for death: then we had to beg a stranger to be a victim and crouch behind a girder, and let the dogs discover him and tug him proudly, with suppressed yaps, back to Command and the rows of empty triage tables. But who will hide from us? Who will keep digging for us here in the cloud of ashes?
D. Nurkse - 1949-
In that lit window in Bushwick halfway through the hardest winter I cut plexiglass on a table saw, coaxing the chalked taped pane into the absence of the blade, working to such fine tolerance the kerf abolished the soft-lead line. I felt your eyes play over me but did not turn—dead people were not allowed in those huge factories. I bargained: when the bell rang I would drink with you on Throop under the El, quick pint of Night Train but you said no. Blood jumped from my little finger, power snapped off, voices summoned me by name, but I waved them back and knelt to rule the next line.