Box Not Found (live) – Joshua Fit The Battle – Ariel Friedman

Box Not Found: Stories
Natalie Calma, Violin & Kevin Price, Bass Clarinet
Cafe at the Somerville Armory
November 4th, 2018

Joshua Fit the Battle (2018)
Ariel Friedman
Joshua Fit the Battle

words by Ariel Friedman
with a poem by Walt Whitman**

If the walls came tumbling down
you would not have been able to see them.
After Linda’s death it was button-up,
it was photos tucked into drawers,
grief’s game of pretend was a tower grown
luminous. Luminous, and invisible.

Like black oil dripping, or a slow leak
some dark grime ate at the siding
wore it down until it was chiefly holes held
together by strings of insulation and surely
there was no fanfare. Surely,
there was no fanfare.

It wasn’t that they couldn’t communicate, it’s that
grief wasn’t in the language.
Their daughter had not flown away;
she was tethered here by Jericho’s walls
and the concrete slab of stifled memory.

Fifty-six years later, her brothers pushed off
the stones from above their heads, surveyed
the rubble and rebuilt, rearranged, reimagined
the ruins now a monument,
a rising up of what had been buried for so long.

She had been buried for so long.

**“What do you think has become of the young and old men?
And what do you think has become of the women and children?
They are alive and well somewhere,
The smallest sprout shows there is really no death,
And if ever there was it led forward life, and does not wait at the
end to arrest it,
And ceas’d the moment life appear’d.
All goes onward and outward, nothing collapses,
And to die is different from what any one supposed, and luckier.”
—-Walt Whitman