Thursday, March 26, 2009

TINY LIONS for Robert Dziekanski


for Robert Dziekanski

A man flew across an ocean. He flapped hard. After one week, the man landed in our country. He landed in our country’s airport. He had a tin can and a string connecting it to his mother’s tin can, but with all the flapping, the string had broken. Now he was in our airport with an empty can and his words were strange, understood by no one. The airport was waiting to punch him. The airport was a bully. It didn’t like his tin can and his broken string. “Don’t carry too much liquid or gel,” the airport said. “Remember your tray table,” the airport said. “Take off your shoes,” the airport said. “Be one with us.”

Inside the airport, there was a door. The man put a chair in front of the door. Then the man put down another. He wanted to get out of the airport. It did not like him. It was a bully. He waited six months. Then he held up a small table. He was waiting for tiny lions. Surely a country as beautiful as this must have tiny lions, he thought.

The police were not tiny lions. “We are going to shout things,” they said. “And you will understand,” they said. The police began shouting but the man did not understand. “Now we will shout again,” the police said. “We will shout louder so you will for sure understand. We are ordering you to understand. And,” the police said, “Just to be safe, we will lock your hands together. Don’t thank us. Don’t applaud. It is our job.” The man did not thank them or applaud. One should only clap when things are over, he thought.

The police were not his friends. The airport didn’t like him. Then they plugged him into the ground. A fistful of storm turning his bones to flesh, his flesh to bone. He fell to the floor. A man made squid. Then he died. This is what happened. This is my evidence. There were no tiny lions. I did not applaud.

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