We are only shuttling information. The information comes to us as if we are looking to the sky and seeing the flash of white on the underside of a wing.
Comes as seven hoofprints left by deer in the mud where the camp once stood.
We are only the mud, unmarked next to the historical site, where the second-year history student dresses as a local woman to show how they did laundry back then.
Back then a funny time when people boiled their clothes.
Back then before the Americans built the road all the way up the mountain.
We are only imprints speckled along a typewriter platen.
There the general typed: I can’t keep my men from the refugee women.
He typed: And with the impossibilities of getting supplies, we need to choose
We are only three men’s memory as they lean against a Jeep choosing in a surprising spring snow
Only a general’s memory of women’s voices—the voices themselves vanished.
We are only the vanishing of snow.
Only the fistful of snow the woman crams in her mouth to extinguish her memory.
The fistful of snow the woman crams in her mouth to distinguish this day from the others.
The snow the woman crams in her mouth to stop her own screaming.
We are only the drift of her body in the current.
Only the memory of eels, cradling her body as it sinks and the prayer of eels curled among the bones.
Only the comfort of eels, sliding through her ribs to remember.
We are only water and we could not rise up without rain, rise up and save her.
Instead we offer memory and our memory is only as good as our archive where her name is not written, her death unremarked, her number uncounted.
We are only the blanks of women and we carry these blanks inside us as the sky carries the white beneath a wing.