On the news tonight there’s a bombing
Somewhere, some nameless city
All cities look the same
stripped to their bones
Concrete and steel hanging out indecently from the corners
And under the skirts of windows
You can’t even tell if the photos are in color
There’s so much dust and blood

On the news tonight there’s a talent show
Kids dancing
A baton twirler; I didn’t know kids still did that
But they must
The way kids will still play in a mud puddle if you let them
The way kids will still pick up a stick and make a sword
Or a wand
Or a gun
The way kids dance when music comes on

And it’s easy to forget when all you see is the steel slips of buildings
And the white dust and the black blood
That somewhere in that city there is still a talent show going on
That somewhere in that city people are shopping for groceries
Because you still need toilet paper
When people are dying
And you still need bread and that funny pre-sliced cheese
Even though the awnings you walk to work under are broken buildings
People are still going to work
Feeding their dogs

In February I stood in Birkenau
And watched train tracks converging in the distance.
“It looked normal,” the guide said.
The tracks stopped before the treeline.

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