The Band Played “The Day We Die”

PLEASE READ NOTE: This poem was, sadly, inspired, by a nightclub fire that took place yesterday in Bucharest, Romania, during the concert of a local band called Goodbye to Gravity, killing 27 people and injuring over 150 (162 is the number I saw most recently). Title explanation – the band, two of whom died, played a song called “The Day We Die” which caused some people to look for signs and premonitions. Also, while browsing the web for info, I came across a comment made by someone who felt the need to notify the world that he “does not give a flying fuck about the victims,” (translation of a very vulgar Romanian expression) because he didn’t know them… You read that right.

Shame on you
if you call it premonition
and a sign –
it was just a song.
Some guy on Facebook
said he did not give a flying fuck
because no one he knew was there.
The ones we do not know
might as well be fiction –
just like the thought
of a band playing a song
called “The Day We Die”
minutes before a fire starts
and some of them do.
Flesh as food for fire,
a stampede of nameless hands and feet –
and it was not a novel.
It was not a disaster movie.
None of us knows what it’s like to burn
non-metaphorically.
Until we do.
Fine –
pretend you never saw the bodies.
But would you really
look into a face scarred with fire
and say that you don’t care?
Or would you wonder,
perhaps out loud,
what it’s like to bear death on your face.
And would they answer –
“This, on my face, is not death –
this is just proof that I cheated it
for a little while.”

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