Elbaum in Grozny, 1994

Monday, July 15, 2019
On assignment from Time 
            in the breakaway republic,
the words alone couldn’t be poorer. 
            The day, circumstance, all 
there ever was. From above, it’s 
            the humming overstory 
of yews, its ceiling of leaves 
            which, in being bunched so 
closely together, make for a Cossack’s 
            furry hat. The answer falls short
of gunmanship, the grass, the 
            panorama of sagging husks 
of buildings. The deeply coherent grit. 
            The way things change 
is just so terrible, the answer 
            cannot bear the burden 
of its questioning.

Elbaum in Grozny, 1994” is for Cynthia Elbaum (1966–1994), a world-renowned photojournalist who lost her life during a Russian bombing raid in the first war for Chechnya. She was a very dear friend of my parents.
Monday, July 15, 2019