Where Children Learn How to Kill Indirectly With Self-Neglect

On the street leading to its heavy doors no one came out of their homes except for the occasional dog who ran at a fence to bark at me as I looked for an iceless patch of pavement to nail my feet into.

Cars silently emerged from behind me or from side streets, and came together in lines that had me drifting toward the embankments and into driveways, where I waited for the convoys to pass,

and where sometimes I caught a male cardinal hauntingly singing from the top of a tall maple, like a female singer with Duende reminding us that beauty and the lives that hold it pass as easily as a child’s cry.

Those winter mornings I felt like I was travelling alongside monsters of steam and steel, and where the frost heaves that could have been human bodies piled up on the curb, I stepped carefully, so as not to disturb them.

I imagined myself to be a boy forgotten about in a war waged by adults that secretly wished me to become an accident loved only by the news, and I survived the prolonged, atrocity show by each weekday morning keeping my head down and putting “one foot in front of the other”

until I arrived at this what seemed to me to be a kind of training facility where children behind enemy lines would learn how to kill indirectly with neglect the way adults who weren’t self-aware enough did.

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