about becoming

it’s 2016 the man who was waiting
for the bathroom in the same hallway
i wait for a bathroom in says
after exiting the men’s restroom
encouraging me to skip the wait
to which i respond hayyyyyy as if to say
thanks for the suggestion/reminder and then
pop in and lock the door behind me
the patch of sun i park myself in
outside the first presbyterian church-turned cinema
because sun is one of the balms to apply after being broken open,
because i carry the tears of tehran detention girls
(as encountered in the film starless dreams with me,
because the earth in this spot is soft with spring and though i
will carry some of the tehran girls’ tears and
dance/laugh/claps and their howls as they hold each others
faces and bringing the curve of their cheekbones close,
i will also plant some of them here
rookiez we’ll call it i say as trish and i laugh
across the table at our future of film-making
i thought we might go to another country she says
before mentions of writing an abstract
proposal, i say
couldn’t stay [in the mines, in the steel factory]
for more than five minutes
in one spot before the owners would come
and threaten
the director of behemoth says
because the state has given owners subsidies,
fully aware of the damage to land and people
without protection and the owners don’t want
any traces of this work exposed

this the power of art when art becomes testimony
it wasn’t a decision, it was a process
kirsten johnson, memoirist of cameraperson says
about becoming there was a body of poeple in me left
behind, an accumulation of loss


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