Aftermath –
the sums calculated,
formulas enumerated,
abacus beads
fallen which way they may.

Fine dust,
like an early
Christmas,
blankets the
store in
subdued grey.
A snatch of yellow
and green
peeks
through the mess.

Huddling together
as if by
proximity
they can
stave off
the extent of
the disaster.

A bookstore burned.

Still trading,
a clerk uses his
shirtsleeve
to wipe a
textbook cover
clean.

A student
enters and
requests Fanon.

Found
on a shelf at the back,
the moment
renders history
present.

We look past
each other,
across the scattered
pages,
feeling
as though
we’ve come across
this experience
somewhere before.

At the very least,
read about
how someone
else expressed
it.

In a poem,
perhaps?

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