Sitting in the car on a November afternoon, looking out at a ravine. A brutal ravine, you can’t help but imagine the men trapped in there, claustrophobic, terrorized, the din of battle raging round them, as they say. Steep, unstable, there’s no escape, you couldn’t get enough purchase to run. Today it is mute, meaningless. That rock, this hillock, they have no particular intrinsic meaning, none at all. It’s a Sunday afternoon, mild and pleasant. I am safe and comfortable enough in my car, and miserable with rage at this woman five thousand miles away. The morning service at Bethel AME did not teach me forbearance or forgiveness. She keeps yelling, but the distance will never be bridged. The battle is over and no one won. We are both wounded, but nothing is solved. It will never be solved. The passions will fade, the anger burn out, and the grass will grow again, covering the pain that still smolders hidden under the grass. There are corpses there, parts of bodies incorporated in the hummocks. Not just blood on the ground, but pieces of flesh. There are no words. We are not kind to one another.

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book of days