There came a howl on the sand that is flat and hard and the sky is dark and there are trees that line it. There came a howl on the flat land and there are trees that line it and villages in the trees and people who wear rags and skin tied headbands and bang their fists in the drum circles of early morning prayer.

There came a howl. The light is flat on the flat sand on the flat land on the flat man home. The horizon is flat like a line like the beach line like the line that meets the trees and the trees are straight and stand like sticks and the men and women in the villages behind the trees begin to appear.

On the flat line horizon, there are ships that begin to come to the beach. The ships have men on the decks. The men wear helmets that are made of skulls and the men hold spears and chant against the flat water. There are many ships and the men on the many ships do not care if they are remembered when they leave, do not care if they are not remembered when they leave.

The men will take the homes from the men and women in the trees who dance and pray with drums. The men will not take their drums, will not take their dances. The men will take their children and put them in the ships and the ships will leave to the slow monotonous drone of the slave ship drone.

The slave ships, hunter ships, are not ships that care if they are remembered. The people, dotted in caves on the crippled circles of the newness have become the culture of their captors and that culture tells them to care that they are remembered. In the past, in the past villages that became cities—concrete steps against the flat lands, the flat beaches, the flat treelines—the cities breed to be remembered.

It is no longer simple for the villages to eat and hunt and fish and dance to the drum. The drum is not an instrument that needs to be remembered. Men and women on the coast will let the drum go into the hands of the others and begin to wish that they were something that could be gotten into.

On this day, when the flat land home was sacked, a village boy rose in the circle of the burnt homes and watched the slave ships row away from the shore and he stood because he was a boy and he was not caught and he said: “I am me.” The village elders began to weep and the women began to weep and the men fell to their knees and said we should not weep but perhaps we should weep.

“I am me.” The others, the others in the burnt down village began to look at their skin and see that it was not the same skin as the skin of the others in the village. “I am me.” They said. And when the night that night began to come, there came a howl and a man with a painted face approached the village and tore the still heart from the boy who had stood and said I am me.

But it was that day, before there came a howl, after the slave ships had attacked and looted, that the village saw and began to build fences around itself, inside itself. It was sane to keep the men whose skin and eyes and hair was not the same out of this home, that home, these homes.

“This boy died because he would not go with the other boys.” The village elder said. But he was only one village elder. It was not their son, anymore. It is not the village that will keep them out but the fences that will keep each other out: and they think that they have found a sanctuary in the ego, that they have rebuilt their passions, that they have begun to undig their own madness and doom.

Howl, children, the flat land is destroyed. It was too simple and plain and could not be gotten into, not at all.


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