Let us lay the bones of this nation in a damp hole
and cover them with the ripest flowers we can find.
Let us sing a common song in all our languages,
a dirge for its history of black and blue skin, for its red, red blood.
Let us look at its birth certificate and last will and testament,
shaking our heads at how it might have been and what it left us.
Let us wash our hands of its illnesses and plagues.
Let us pretend that none of its wounds were self-inflicted.
Let us sit for hours by the graveside
and suffocate in the smell of bloom and rot.
Let us walk away when we think we have
somewhere better to go.
Let us try to forget
that we knew the dead.
Let us try to forget that we knew it was dead
long before the hole had to be dug.