Weaving Down the Court

          March 2003: New York, Spokane, Iraq



A night to remember,

not cliché but numinous,

wild and unpredictable . . .

neither quite game nor “reality”:

New York, LizLiz in hospital,

David by her side, cell phone carrying

voices over Spokane as Danté

flies down court to fulfill his mission.

On split screen, Iraq, tanks

streaming like tears on the sandy horizon.


A three-pointer, a two;

pains getting closer together as

March madness invades the Garden,

while in the desert, men

drop from the sky, not

gently from the silk

folds of the wombs of women,

but torn by helicopter blades,

shouting, “God is on our side,

God is on our side.”


No surprise then that romance

begged from background music,

becomes so charming it is discordant,

slides into a spirit band salute,

a tin drum cavalcade

beating out the rhythm of nine months labor:

Amani, Ella, Ibrahim, Yusef, Davis, Parker . . .

A convergence of cries, born of a miracle of precision,

luminous like a clock, numbers mounting in crazed dedication

to causes invented in bushes, or dark caverns of ego,

yet each cry a call, each call a reminder:

This is not a staging.

This is the real thing.

This will be death or birth.


The night of the U.S. invasion of Iraq