Dead Sea

The quote in the title was taken from A Thin Red Line, Terrence Mallick.

By Matthew Donohue


The Dead Sea…… Acidic….. Tears away the land as it drains slowly into a

funnel poisoning the earth and man as it slowly disappears. I bob like a cork on

its buoyancy in the quiet still that is its blackness. Wading in waters where Jesus

washed away his sins into the Jordan River. The waste seeps slowly into the dead.

Was it His sins or of those who followed in his footsteps that gave way to rabid dogs.

Pit against one another over pieces of unfertile sands they froth at the mouth.

These opposites stand eye to eye and barrel to barrel. Walls of concrete emerge

from beneath their feet and shove each one back a bit farther from memories

of their youth. Their reality is shaped by confict, opposites govern their world.

All drains from the cradle. Shells of men become clouds of earth released into

the heavens, bombs, shells explode and the earth shakes. Two forces removing

and partitioning land as it is sucked into the crevasse that is the Dead Sea, the

lowest point on earth. The land sinks in funeral, and all dressed in black, History

looks on as I take attendance. Moses, the Crusaders, the Nebataens, The Israelis

and Palestinians, Muslims, Jews, and all Christians alike begin to weep. Their tears

fall giving way to cracks. Like sheets with creases of beige and soft khaki the land

folds in on itself slowly without eulogy. But in time and with hope it all turns inside

out again and is blessed by one more man and is renamed “the holy land”.