By Claudia Rankine
On a scrap of paper in the archive is written
I have forgotten my umbrella. Turns out
in a pandemic everyone, not just the philosopher,
is without. We scramble in the drought of information
held back by inside traders. Drop by drop. Face
covering? No, yes. Social distancing? Six feet
under for underlying conditions. Black.
Just us and the blues kneeling on a neck
with the full weight of a man in blue.
Eight minutes and forty-six seconds.
In extremis, I can’t breathe gives way
to asphyxiation, to giving up this world,
and then mama, called to, a call
to protest, fire, glass, say their names, say
their names, white silence equals violence,
the violence of again, a militarized police
force teargassing, bullets ricochet, and civil
unrest taking it, burning it down. Whatever
contracts keep us social compel us now
to disorder the disorder. Peace. We’re out
to repair the future. There’s an umbrella
by the door, not for yesterday but for the weather
that’s here. I say weather but I mean
a form of governing that deals out death
and names it living. I say weather but I mean
a November that won’t be held off. This time
nothing, no one forgotten. We are here for the storm
that’s storming because what’s taken matters.
I'm running late again, still fighting with my computer, and as has become usual on Wednesday, I spent a lovely chunk of the middle of the day talking to friends from elementary school. The weather was in the 60s in the morning, dropping into the 30s tonight, and very windy -- a fun day to take a walk.
There was a two-hour episode of The Masked Singer with a double unmasking, one who obviously wanted to leave and one who's young and they seem to favor older winners (I'm positive the judges know who's who and everything is scripted). Here are friends I made at the Maryland Zoo's farm and goat corral: