Hopita (hopita) wrote,

It's April 24th Again.

I wrote a big post last year on April 24th to commemorate the 15 year anniversary of the horrible van accident that I was in in college. Now it's sixteen years past. I think I pretty much said it all last year.

It's interesting to me that, over the course of the past few days, vulgarweed and I have reconnected in a friendly way. In the wake of the accident, she wrote a poem which I have always loved, and have always kept a copy of. I'd like to share it with everyone now:

Barricades Broken (Roadside Shrine)

Highways are sustaining veins, breath for the beast,
a panting oxygen of fear.
Pointed into morning, the space between green ghost signs
is hunger.
To be late is to be lost in cracks of time; the shreds of peace
dangle from telephone lines,
and every death on the highway is a murder.

Have you stopped feeling that wrenching?
Do you remember the night when the echo stopped,
became a part of you that you did not have to
think about anymore, like your lungs, like your
dreams? (As nightmare sinks into the past it
pushes memory backwards. Counting mileposts
of madness, pushing back against the darkness,
I find I cannot remember whether or not he
wore glasses. To save myself, I guess: I think
he did not.) Little shards of our maps sink into
the earth where you landed.

Windshield wipers, get this wet forgetting
static away from my eyes. Clearly now, I find
I cannot stop staring at the gentle strange smiles
of the dead; in this matter of moving forward it
seems he got there first. The face that was hidden behind its
bandanna from cameras now beams free in my mind, not
forgiving or cursing, just purely absorbed
in this business of haunting. Comrade, turn gasoline
into wine for me. Show me the irony I've missed,
tell me there are no highways in heaven, show me what's
beyond this need for revolutions. How many masks were
there, ripped from your face the night that this different
story started, when the flash pushed you deep into the
violence of stillness? This offering of words is almost
as mortal as highways, laid out like food for the wind
to eat in your name.
Watch it burned so dull by your newborn face, frozen forever
as bright as it was on your last long day of love and rage.

I will forever carry that day around with me. It may not resonate as loudly as it once did, but it will forever give me pause. So much was lost that day. It was the end of my childhood.
Tags: anniversaries, antioch, death, poetry, the van accident, vulgarweed

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