We walked through each room
as if it was a prayer
to walk through these rooms
of lime bleached skeletons,
and the great hall
with rope after rope
strung across its width
draped with trousers and shirts, bright skirts and kitenge.
An unintended art installation
in the still silence
of the mountainside.

The man with the bullet wound
still visible in his forehead
as neat as a shilling
showed us around.
He had fallen beneath the bodies
of these people, his neighbours,
and stayed there until
the machetes had fallen silent
and the blood congealed
and he, somehow, found safety.

In the car
driving back into life
someone
begins to speak of everyday things
begins to cope
begins to tidy away
the shock of the sacred.