ON THE ELECTRODYNAMICS OF DYING BODIES*
*Title appropriated from Albert Einstein’s essay “On The Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies” which introduced his theory of special relativity.
It is titled War Execution. His face is contorted with one eye shut and the other only half- so, like a broken window stuck ajar, yet he stands straight, shoulders down, hands behind his back. If they are tied, I do not know. He is young, in his twenties, maybe, and a gun is pressed against his head. FLASH. Capture iniquity. FLASH. Expose truth. FLASH.
The moment the shutter is released: visible light is reflected from the objects in the camera’s field of view: an objective moment of brutality
until a man with a red, white, and blue pin breathes a sigh of relief.
What if it were now, as they thought it was then,
when the earth was still flat and you
could walk around barefoot, with unpolished
toes and teased hair. But, the force is too strong,
when the yellow lines become invisible and
when there is no place beautiful left to go,
that she who stands still will fall
faster than she who just came back
from getting her hair cut.
“Seven confirmed cases
and seventeen more awaiting
confirmation,” says someone.
”By comparison, last January
there were only
five suicides in the Army,”
the voice continued because
the clock on the wall was ticking
faster than the watches of those
falling from the sky.
Kimberly Ruth is a recent graduate from SUNY New Paltz where she received a BFA in photography and a BA in journalism. She plans to attend graduate school in the fall, where she will work towards an MFA degree in fine art. She has been published in a number of online journals including Gloom Cupboard, Ditch Poetry, Bijou Poetry and elimae. You can view samples of her art work at kimberlyruth.blogspot.com.
(author retains copyright)