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The Museum of Vestigial Desire

The Displaced

tags: hunting published on:

By Celeste Regal

Steely gusts scattered our lives across the ocean, across the desert, across the tundra, the street, the border. The shutters closed against us. No one at home. Get the hell out. We don’t want you. In our pain, in our terror, we remained confused for a while. Confusion is better than acquiescence. It is more comfortable than understanding the exact intent. Too many don’t care or worse, they actively predict death. The end. The streets cleaned up. The human refuse gone. Just go now. Everyone holding their our troubles close to the chest, reaching out to push away instead of commiserate. It becomes too dangerous. What if, what if, what if? What if there is a bad seed inside these tumbling apples. It will spread vermin across our land.

In the end, though, what is our land? The first to get here? How far back shall we go? Since we cannot find the beginning, the origin of origins, we can agree to agree on recorded history. Whose precious foot touched the land before all others? These questions run deep in our veins even if ignored. I tell my students one cannot say immigrant since everyone came from somewhere else at some point in time. Your history echoes through the narrow halls of persuasion. It is curtailed by power and control. It only comes to a full stop when someone defines the borders. When someone says, you and us. When someone positions threat above courtesy. Difference above common denominators. The narrative sets the playing field and both are ever changing.

I heard your cry and disbelief. Your sad face and broken eyes reminded me of my own ostracism. No one wanted to know my name. They had made a determination without research. Look at the surface and all you will find is what you have predetermined. Slide off the surface into the chasm of not wanting to bother. When it is your turn, if you ever have one, you may remember how you cut into the air, sliced the wind, to remove an imagined enemy in the face of the lost and desperate. These things can be hard to sift through but try we must. Perhaps one must become hungry. Perhaps one must be lost in a sea of disregard to come to terms with it. I remember the face of my persecutors when I was in the dark. I did not know they would give me a leg to stand on in this outrage. They have made me better in a small way. They allowed me to place myself within confines I can’t quite imagine but can understand at a distance.

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