Twelve

– not a number you associate with 

The age of the dead. Four hundred – not a 

Measure of kilometres you think of as lying 

Ahead. Hundreds of thousands – an amount

That exceeds the space in my mind, so many

Hearts beating that when one of them burst, even

Its silence seems impossible to find. How do we

Claim to think of ourselves as one, a number

So invisible that we may never know its kind.

How will we account for fares unrefunded,

Trains unboarded, homes unreached, the lives

Discounted, the peace unbreathed, the pity

Unspoken. One, a number divisible only by itself

On every step of every long march home 

Lies broken.

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