I watched the scene from the corner of a bedroom.
Uncensored and deliberate, it didn’t slap me,
but spread a slow blistering burn on thin layers,
warming tender parts of ears at their cries.
The ending ripped a bandage from my eyes
without the count of three. Then the brutality held
on to me like a lucid dream ever since.
Even if art, youth can’t always handle raw reality.
That may be why I vowed to never return to the scene.
I even hear the title, and the image
leaves frigid air seeping through an open window.
That’s the only difference twenty years later.
It began tempting me lately. With little signs
tucked into comments or coincidence,
the unnerving whispers for attention–
deep down, we want to peak behind our shoulders
one more time, daring ourselves
to pull the trigger.
The night before,
A teacher heard the word again: trigger.
So challenged me with advice:
“Sometimes, that’s how it must be.
Then we listen better. And remember.”
Her tone was simple, but changed me. I searched, then returned
to the source alone and waited with every contracted
muscle. I held my breath to confront the blow…
then exhaled. What happened to the old
I was too busy learning from it.
Discussing the story with myself.
And I haven’t stopped learning from there since the following day…
Note: After watching Schindler’s List for the first time…after avoiding it for 20 years.