The photographs of the dead Syrian children are fashioned on a digital scroll, one after the next conveyed in a window through intuitive navigation arrows. I can go forward and I can return. It is a granted exploration. I go forward.
The dead are lined in a sparse room. The dead are individual. The dead are collective, huddled and intimate and trapped in time. They are unnatural and miserably natural. And this is part of the obscenity. I go back.
Some of them appear surprised. They are likely the fortunate. Some appear resolved, having concluded at some early-life discovery that this turbulent end would be. Their being was their conclusion and their narrative this sudden end. I go forward.
There is another broken edge to this obscenity. I have a need to run my finger along that edge. Maybe the iron in my blood can dull it. Maybe. I allow myself to be directed, going forward.
Some of the dead are wrapped in light scarves. Some are unwrapped. All of the wrapped are later unwrapped in the progression of the digital slideshow I am moving through. This is a testimony.
There is perversity in their head wounds, both where the damage is contained to a small hole or where it is unleashed in an open ravage of collapse and miscreant tearing. I go forward.
Monsters do not concern me. Girls my daughter’s age destroyed. Sons my son’s age defiled. I have told them about the monsters. I am that kind of father. The monsters are hungry, but we are to work hard to deprive them. We are to ensure their withering. I go forward.
The politics do not shape me. I have never saluted their flags. I do not study or know their colors. I have never sang their anthems. I do not have the voice. I do not know the chords. I stop and go back.
It is the urine stains. It is the blemished crotches, the last dribbled spill in the moment their bladders wept and released in their weeping. This is the time stamp when their collective electric governance was shut down. This is the perversity. This is the imprint of the act.
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