[37] Mourning Becomes the Law, Howie Good

The same blue jay keeps returning to the empty bird feeder, and every time it does, our dog goes crazy all over again, crashing full speed into the sliding glass door, scratching at the glass, barking so strenuously the strings on my guitar resonate. Throughout the morning, both bird and dog persist in their hopeless efforts. I can only shake my head. One person dies every 40 seconds from suicide.

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We have the right to leave but not an automatic right to arrive. American ingenuity continually cycles from light to dark and then dark to light, like a crime gorgeously lit by big arched windows. If we remain silent, we are complicit. The trouble is, there’s no word in English for a parent who has lost a child.

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Ugly gaps in the skyline grow more numerous by the day. Everything is either too hot or too cold, and nothing is soft. Surveillance drones hover overhead as pre-pubescent girls march in protest against menstruation. The only book on the bookshelf compares the human heart to a synagogue that the Nazis used as a stable. There are sightings of UFOs, frequent killings by stray bullets. A grimy rain comes down in gusts. If you concentrate, you can just about hear the military music of boots stamping on faces.

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