41 Fireflies

41 Fireflies

A Poem by Marie Anzalone

Mozart wrote Symphony #41- 

his longest- just before

his death. To include a sarabande,

I am told, a Central American

dance of which Cervantes said,

"Hell was its birthplace

and breeding place."

 

41. A number. I am 41. 

It has been 25 years since

my first rape. Still, I am one

of the lucky ones. Unlike them,

I was, and am, still someone. 

More than just a number.

 

Don't call them angels, or dolls. 

Angels don't know despair,

dolls do not scream with the pain

of flesh melting off muscle and 

bone. Do not rob them

the dignity of the terror

of those final moments nobody

with a soul wants to dwell upon. 

 

Nor is it the will of any god

I will answer to. WE are 

the eyes and heart and hands

of God for those whose lives

have not been awarded

Guardian angels. We, not God,

are the givers- 

Of Life, Justice. Dignity. 

 

Perfect souls 

in imperfect states and conditions,

like us. But that inferno 

started years and years ago, 

long before any match was lit; 

That moment someone decided 

to permit control of human beings

behind locked doors and silence,

because it is easier

than dealing with their entirety.

Out of sight, out of mind.

 

When only half of your being

is sanctioned, how could one

ever expect to be whole? The 

price you apparently pay 

for defending yourself,

if you were born voiceless-

is to be burned alive. 

 

I bet we can easily find:

41 reasons the sarabande was banned,

for celebrating too freely

that untamable side of woman

And 41 excuses that justify

its subjugation.

41 ways to forget the dead.

41 times you could have done,

something.

 

41 examples of the heroes 

whose stories never make it

Into newspapers,

41 things we thought 

were more important than justice

for the forgotten

until that dark night it took a fire

to make us remember. 

 

If I had a jar and a meadow

tonight-

I would gently capture 

41 fireflies, hold them 

reverently like a lantern,

read this poem by their 

ephemeral collective glow. And 

release them, one fragile,

transcendent, ascending

brave point of wavering light,

at a time. A prayer

and human face, a name,

human soul

for each one. Not just 

a number. 

 

"I release you," I would say.

I would rewrite those hours,

turn you not into 41 dolls

but into those fireflies;

painlessly, small enough

to pass through a crack in the wall

large enough to ferry the soul

out of Hell.

 

If you are a woman,

41 times each week you face

a piece of your dreams,

security, self-esteem being burned

to ash. We are so accustomed

we have trained ourselves 

to notice only after

they are dead. 

 


© 2017 Marie Anzalone



Author's Note

Marie Anzalone
This piece was inspired by a horrific fire near our capital city that left 41 girls dead. It has galvanized a nation- even one as used to human tragedy as ours was left stunned as details came out and the horror intensified each passing day that we learned more, and the death toll kept (and keeps on) rising. Sometimes the only form left for expression is poetry. The death toll on the day of writing. It may still go higher.

Selected for publication in the May 4th 2017 edition of Rising Phoenix Press Poetry Journal

My Review

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Featured Review

With this incredible piece of writing, you have created both a tribute and condemnation of that tragedy You lay guilt on Civilisation's shoulders for turning their backs. Your words create pictures in the mind that are horrific but need be said, '.. dolls do not scream with the pain ~ of flesh melting off muscle and ~ bone. Do not rob them ~ the dignity of the terror ~ of those final moments nobody ~ with a soul wants to dwell upon. '

Whether one understands or not, God bless those 41 souls, God forgive those who focus on glitter rather than gladness. Oh .. how sad, how unforgivably sad..

Posted 5 Months Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

Marie Anzalone

3 Months Ago

Dear Emma: This was one of th emost difficult poems I ever wrote. I cried with each stanza, felt eve.. read more
Marie Anzalone

3 Months Ago

Dear Emma: This was one of the most difficult poems I ever wrote. I cried with each stanza, felt eve.. read more



Reviews

With this incredible piece of writing, you have created both a tribute and condemnation of that tragedy You lay guilt on Civilisation's shoulders for turning their backs. Your words create pictures in the mind that are horrific but need be said, '.. dolls do not scream with the pain ~ of flesh melting off muscle and ~ bone. Do not rob them ~ the dignity of the terror ~ of those final moments nobody ~ with a soul wants to dwell upon. '

Whether one understands or not, God bless those 41 souls, God forgive those who focus on glitter rather than gladness. Oh .. how sad, how unforgivably sad..

Posted 5 Months Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

Marie Anzalone

3 Months Ago

Dear Emma: This was one of th emost difficult poems I ever wrote. I cried with each stanza, felt eve.. read more
Marie Anzalone

3 Months Ago

Dear Emma: This was one of the most difficult poems I ever wrote. I cried with each stanza, felt eve.. read more
This was very moving to read. You brought this to life with visual and emotion. It brought tears to my eyes and I believe that you did a fantastic job capturing the pain the was demanding to be felt.
Prayers always for those 41 girls.

Posted 6 Months Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

Marie Anzalone

6 Months Ago

Thanks, gypsysoul. For a full week after it happened, I was numb. I could not find my voice, my word.. read more
If only they'd done something truly worthwhile with their lives - if only they'd been male professional footballers of note, then the world would have taken notice :/



Posted 6 Months Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

Marie Anzalone

6 Months Ago

Alas only if they were also first world citizens, no? Much appecaitethe review, my friend. Thanks fo.. read more

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Added on March 18, 2017
Last Updated on May 6, 2017

Author

Marie Anzalone
Marie Anzalone

Xela, Quetzaltenango, Guatemala



About
Bilingual poet, essayist, novelist, and technical writer working in Central America. "A poet's work is to name the unnameable, to point at frauds, to take sides, start arguments, shape the world, .. more..

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