“Don’t be afraid of breaking.
Remember, a broken window doesn’t
need to be opened.”
This is how I am greeted
by the daily mail —
with a well-meant and empty platitude
that makes me laugh and rage
about how much else is true
of a broken window.
I put my head down in my covers
and start a list in response:
a broken window is not
to be trusted — you can get cut that
way, you could put an eye out
with a shard from a broken window. A broken
window lets in all manner of pests
and danger. A broken
window is an excuse for cops to
enter your life. A broken window
is the natural track of a brick,
a bullet, a flash-bang, a grenade,
a Molotov cocktail. A broken window
is a thief of heat and safety.
A broken window makes a sound
once — it cries out upon being born
and then all you hear after that
is a voice poured through it, a voice
not its own, function of wind
or rain or distress.
A broken window may never
have been meant to be opened.
It may have been a poor church’s
lone glory, or the last line of defense
for a shivering soul. A broken window
is evidence of a violent change
and you don’t know
what led to it;
maybe you could try helping out
with a dustpan and broom
before offering a philosophy
lesson? Help clean it up. Help.