Spring 2000 • Vol. XXII No. 2 Poetry |

Against Consolation

 The lecturer is talking about Weil's essay on "Detachment."  The scent of lilacs intoxicates the air inside the room,  cut branches brought in to represent the flowering outside,  spring flaring up again like those beliefs I imagine  Weil warns against--- beliefs which fill up voids and sweeten  what is bitter. A thousand miles from here, you have given up  belief in the providential ordering of events. No proverb sweetens  your suffering. What endures is your bewilderment---the freakish  wheel of that truck breaking off and hurtling through  the sunlit air, not enough time to say Look out or even Shit,  before it struck your car, one of hundreds lined up  in rush-hour traffic on the other side of the highway.  You told me, the more you think the less you understand.  You can't explain the roof caved in all around you,  your two friends buried under metal, and you, who sat alongside  them, untouched. Home from the hospital

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