“Violence Fractal” by Molly Fisk

Molly Fisk


First it’s locations you’ve never heard of, then far-away places
you haven’t been. Then countries you’ve traveled to, but not
that city, and not in a long time. Slowly, a tulip unfurling red petals,
it’s Paris, Rio, Toronto. And Florida, where your grandmother lived
and you flew for a visit, age 12. Frogs on the window screen croaking
all night. Las Vegas is just one state over. So far no one you know,
but now it’s people your friends can name: a daughter’s schoolmate’s
psychologist mother. This week a bike path, a Walmart in Denver
where Ellen still lives and your favorite niece, but no one we know
shops at Walmart, do they? Soon, though. It’s only a question of numbers
and luck. It will be someone you liked but lost touch with, a boyfriend,
a roommate. Then someone you love. And then you.

from Poets Respond
November 5, 2017


Molly Fisk: “The violence has been increasing for years, but the NYC bike path car attack and the shootings outside Denver this week pushed me over the edge. I live in a small mountain town, but I can feel slaughter coming toward me. And it fascinates me to watch how humans fend off the truth “not me, not me,” which I don’t think we can help but do, even as we’re also trying to say, ‘Yes, it’s me, it’s us, we’re in this together, what the heck do we do!?’ I really don’t know anyone who shops at Walmart, but the line was meant to be ironic/American upper-middle class/clueless/white/etc., to continue the privilege and isolationism of the first lines, for effect.” (web)

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