Travelers Welcome

Travelers Welcome

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Leaving Nanjing

by Lauren Tivey

In the massacre museum, eyes of the departed
stare down from a wall, some 300,000 faces—

these ghosts of 1937. There are jumbled skeletons
in the pit, a bell tolling, elderly Chinese roaming

dark halls, remembering. Rage inflames your guts,
and you know, no matter how justifiable, how

often it ravages you, everything depends on not
fanning it. Later, wrestling this onto the train,

jamming in with other passengers, you think
of Jews in their cattle cars to Auschwitz, that

final ride, of the evil which pounds its fist
into the black, white, brown, and yellow,

every damn day; how futile, ongoing this battle.
Riding along, you keen for the universe,

mourning us all, the killers and their dead,
adding your tears to that old ocean, choking

back terror, reminding yourself, breathe,
as thankfully, the train picks up speed.

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