Give me the splendid, silent sun with all his beams full-dazzling.

Let the words of Walt Whitman distract from the impending horror facing me. Let Beethoven’s resonant keys block my ears from the screams of terror that are filling the space around me. Let me sense the warmth of my mother’s hand clutched tightly in mine before it is so violently ripped away. And please, let my mind be emptied.

. . .