This time the hold-up man didn't know a video-sound camera hidden up in a corner
was recording what was before it or more likely he didn't care, opening up with his pistol,
not saying a word, on the clerk you see blurredly falling and you hear--I keep hearing--
crying, "God, God," in that voice I was always afraid existed within us, the voice that knows
beyond illusion the irrevocability of death, beyond any dream of being not mortally injured--
"You're just falling asleep, someone will save you, you'll wake again, loved ones beside you. ..."
Nothing of that: even torn by the flaws in the tape it was a voice that knew it was dying,
knew it was being--horrible--slaughtered, all that it knew and aspired to instantly voided;
such hopeless, astonished pleading, such overwhelmed, untempered pity for the self dying;
no indignation, no passion for justice, only woe, woe, woe, as he felt himself falling,
TODAY IN SLATE
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