Linda Pastan in the “bargaining” section of The Five Stages of Grief has a short poem with a long title “A Short History of Judaic Thought in the Twentieth Century” which begins with the description of a rabbinical decree:
The rabbis wrote:
although it is forbidden
to touch a dying person,
nevertheless, if the house
he must be removed
from the house.
There follows a stanza marking outrage and abhorrence in the face of such instructions. And the speaker prepares the next stanza, providing a step (“aren’t we all | dying?”) towards the thinking of an all-consuming rebuttal in the last stanza:
your old negotiator’s smile
but aren’t all our houses
Smart move to the second person addressee, an invocation to become an accomplice.
The passage reminds me of the lyrics to a Midnight Oil song (“Beds are Burning”)
How can we dance when our earth is turning?
How do we sleep while our beds are burning?
The irony of course is that the beat of the song is infections and leads one to dance. Sleep is another matter. All our cycles are interrupted leading to narcolepsy or to insomnia. Waking and dreaming have evaporated in the burning.
And so for day 1493