look away

a pause
and a breath
then nothing

perhaps a stare
unfocused
unaware
unwilling to go there
ourselves

we cannot even look

the dead have names
we read
and remember
we read and forget

a pause here
or there
we pay our respect

as though we recognize
what we owe
no service rendered
save for the gates
to the soul
left open

vacancies to be filled
some with vengeance
all with despair
deep brown eyes
no one can repair

only cover

hide from sight
wrap in blankets
pulled down for us
not for them
the earth has already shaken
them off
swallowed them up
and spit them back
in our faces

and we carry them now
without ever looking
burden less than grief
duty almost as strong
as our helplessness
feeling more dangerous
than not

we seek protection
take cover
take cover
take covers
spread sheets over eyes
pull down blinds
keep moving
keep covering
let them not be seen dirty
let them not be seen naked
how they came into the world
how they were forced out

we cannot even look
at the truth
when it opens up the earth
and floods our eyes with shouts
no pauses just
deep brown eyes

look away

deep brown eyes
crushed beneath the weight of
our own homes
suffocating slowly in
our own tombs
customized and crushed

look away

lest you wish to take their place
eyes deep brown
something deep down
south making noise
so we dig
and we work
we dig and we work
salvaging enough shreds of hope
to braid a wick
dip it in blood
dip it in oil
and mutter a prayer
for the next seven days

cut off all of our hair
wail at the sky
and ask the same questions
without looking into the

deep brown eyes
no one can repair

only cover

hide from sight
wrap in blankets
pulled down for us
not for them
the earth has already shaken
them off
swallowed them up
and spit them back
in our faces

and we carry them now
without ever looking
burden less than grief
duty almost as strong
as our helplessness
feeling more dangerous
than not

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3 responses to “look away

  1. Lionell Spooner

    Just reminds me that life is precious and we should not take any sort of comfort for granted especially as there are so many suffering people around the world. Also and importantly money, and all other resources should not be taken lightly regardless of how much we have as long as there are people in need. And to turn a back or otherwise ignore people in need weakens us all.

  2. shivers down the spine hard and strong like the wails of afghani widows ….that’s my first thought from a stilled mind

  3. Overwhelming image and words… I can say nothing.

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