Upon News of Nine Deaths
We are unsure just how we created time travel.
What we do know is that it cannot be used to return
the dead. It cannot be used to sound warning during prayer.
Or to shout back into the void to mind the bright light
of the church doors opening. We know for sure it cannot
put breath back into lungs or bullets into guns or blood
back into veins.
Time travel is a series of possibilities.
Time travel is a series of realities.
It is a litany of violence, a liturgy of names
we repeat like prayer each morning we wake.
Time is an affusion pouring reminders every
twenty-eight hours that we move backwards
towards another name carved into history.
It says we are not safe in the confines of God.
Or in a womb of water.
Or the asphalt of cities.
Or the snow of the Midwest.
Or the stairways of our buildings.
Or the margin of streets in summer.
Time travel tells us we are living history
and creating it in the same stride. We
are in the museum of the now.
We are not sure just how our voices change.
Or how they morph into the tinny sounds
of yesteryear where we sound like ourselves
just muted. But we know the sounds of bombs
and gunfire and waves on boat’s bow. We know
the silence that comes with black skin. We know
that time slows down and we are eternal.
By Athena Dixon
Athena Dixon is Founder and Editor in Chief of Linden Avenue Literary Journal. Her poetry and creative non-fiction has appeared in Compose, Pluck!, This!, Blackberry: A Magazine, and For Harriet among others.
She writes, edits, and resides in Philadelphia.