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Previous | Next :: Names Shimmer I am Stone I am flesh : Vietnam Memorial : DC | June 1, 2011, 7:31 pm

Names Shimmer I am Stone I am flesh : Vietnam Memorial : DC
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Lynda put this up in the comments yesterday :

FACING IT by Yusef Komunyakaa

My black face fades,

hiding inside the black granite.

I said I wouldn't,

dammit: No tears.

I'm stone. I'm flesh.

My clouded reflection eyes me

like a bird of prey, the profile of night

slanted against morning. I turn

this way--the stone lets me go.

I turn that way--I'm inside

the Vietnam Veterans Memorial

again, depending on the light

to make a difference.

I go down the 58,022 names,

half-expecting to find

my own in letters like smoke.

I touch the name Andrew Johnson;

I see the booby trap's white flash.

Names shimmer on a woman's blouse

but when she walks away

the names stay on the wall.

Brushstrokes flash, a red bird's

wings cutting across my stare.

The sky. A plane in the sky.

A white vet's image floats

closer to me, then his pale eyes

look through mine. I'm a window.

He's lost his right arm

inside the stone. In the black mirror

a woman's trying to erase names:

No, she's brushing a boy's hair.

... though perhaps better suited to your photo of the finger (and the reflection of the finger) touching the wall? ... love the poem tho' ... your photos of the wall always make me think of this poem.


Thanks for showing me this Lynda


PS............ A detail from the Sistine Chapel......... see the discussion below :-)).........

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