Sunday, September 11, 2005

The Weather in Jerusalem

The Weather in Jerusalem

They are all dead, the people on this bus. In summer clothes they sit, heads thrown back, aghast, gashed by a blinding, killing, shard-filled blast. They look patient, hands at their sides. The dead have all the time in the world; it is the living who have run out.

Innocent dead, guilty dead. Middle aged women going to shop, men to visit family. Children carried along by their days and routines. People on outings. Flowered dresses, short pants, socks, purses. Reading of terror bombings like weather reports. Go here, not on that route. There's a checkpoint down that road. Soldiers take this bus more often. A bombing happened right at this outdoor cafe. Sunglasses scattered; someone's leg. Metal tore through them like teeth. Yesterday, tomorrow, today.

There must be a fatalistic bravado. Life is cheap; faith is expensive. Every day it could happen here. Let's go to the cinema; let's go to the wall; let's go to war. Sand brown with blood; lizards lick at moisture. Stones set in walls and cities set in stone, stone blunted by time and wind and grief; stone crumbling; bodies crumpling. You could die without noticing. You could die because the weather changed.


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