when the dawn
breaks, the fox takes its silent tail
into the dense shadows and dogs
bark in the vestige of a heavy night –
there is a claustrophobic
premonition that rises with
morning mist – car exhaust –
that the last touch of darkness will
be imprinted in the morning coffee,
reported in the morning paper,
flash across the screen over scrambled
eggs and toast, perhaps grapefruit,
and carry, still, the cold anger and rage
that this gut-wrenching atrocity will not
be the last.
lips curled around
that word, packaging,
the weight of generations
bent to its will.
As laundry hung to dry,
fluttering in the wind,
bleached by the sun,
His voice savoring the
flavor of chicken for dinner,
silent attention to every move.
That word was salted and
peppered for use in a recipe,
calculated for optimum impact.
Wrapping around the tongue,
rolling in the mouth,
gathering stones, sticks and debris
of lifetimes bent to clean up plates,
bent to wash the dishes,
bent to do the laundry,
bent to mop the floor,
bent to put the children to bed.
That word climbed the staircase,
careened down the hallway,
echoed as it
slid across the kitchen floor to rest for
a final sucking of rage to spit out that word:
Pat Kozlik Kabra is a writer and professor. She studied Philosophy and Anthropology at Pennsylvania State University and has a Phd from UCLA in Middle Eastern History and Arabic Language. She writes poetry and essays, as well as teaching graduate seminars at the George Washington University on Media, Foreign Policy and Public Diplomacy and working as a Senior Advisor at the U.S. Department of State.