December 13, 2010

i want to dance barefoot on the grave of history

At the Alamo at the tourist hour, I don't mind the heat as much as I do the screaming children; maybe I should have paid for the audio tour to drown out the people. This was a church, it was holy, then it saw war, an unholy one. The plaques call this a shrine. More glorified war, more valorized shame, more hatred historicized incorrectly. The signs that instruct me to not touch the walls make me want to read them as if they were braille. The rooms have been retrofitted for air conditioning, the stones must feel refreshing, I want them against my skin. I want the nerve endings in my soles to absorb the chill and store it for when I walk back to the hotel in the middle of the day. I want to take off my shoes and let the past creep up through the base of my body.

allyson whipple (Cleveland, OH, 1984)