And the time came when we all grew softer with each other.
We could no longer bear the jagged hard edges of our days,
or even look into each other’s eyes without a sense of shame.
All we wanted at last was to turn away and hide —
hide in our small rooms with the devices we created
to distract us from the great sorrow of separation.
From there we sent out awkward pleas from time to time,
but everyone was hunkered down in their own grief,
and all they could do was to convey condolences.
Truth is not a consolation, but it can be a scalpel,
and thus a festering wound very near the center of things
was finally cut open, releasing the accumulated toxins.
Out they poured in the form of a violent red discharge
laced with anger, fear, hatred, and despair.
No one could explain exactly how all of this came about,
but once the poisons had left the body, people began to emerge
from their dim caves and recognize each other, as if they were all
long-lost relatives who had at last been reunited by destiny.
Even in the midst of the tears of glad relief and warm embraces
which followed, some of us began to suspect each other —
perhaps there was still some blame to be cast.
And this is how the time came when, once again,
we grew harder with each other.
Picture: Muhammed Muheisen