The Journalist (story)


the journalist

 

we go to a beach where because of sand and because of poverty, the infants look like old men

standing, staring at me with big eyes and wrinkled skin

brown like the desert

begging and wandering

they stand in clusters on the beach

looking ageless

ancient men

but two feet tall

a godforsaken corner of a godforsaken land

a land of many gods

harsh gods

cruel gods

gods who let you starve

the infants wave sticklike arms at the sky

save us – they cry

prostrations before a wanton sun

careless and proud

baking the ground sterile

barren barren

their parents are dead

only a sister-nursemaid remains

a girl of ten

with breasts of parchment

dry as the desert

and wrinkled by time

she leads them by the hand

as they cross the ancient sands

snaking

leaving footprints

blow away by dry winds

another beach

by a barren sea

lines are cast for fish but none bite

nothing grows

they stretch their hands to me

but I am not a god

I cannot make rain

I cannot make life

these infants live inside the hour glass

the sand sucking away their short lives

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