A Connecting Thing

What if
In the silence that lives deep in despair
Where it’s unclear how life can go on
There, in that moment
That space
Parisians turn their gaze eastward
To Beirut and Baghdad
Libya and Palestine
And Yemen
Somalia and Egypt

What if they looked now
With a knowing they didn’t know last week?
With a connecting thing
With the humble impulse of grief
That reaches for itself

What if they stayed a while longer in that silence
To find what they know little about
But which was done in their name
By ambitious politicians

By pitiless men who
Call for “pitiless” wars
Merciless thugs
Declaring “merciless” (profitable) wars

Maybe walk Haiti’s streets
Potholed and cracked
To pay a “debt” owed by the enslaved
To pave a French terrace

To visit the remnants
Of a former colony’s blast
In Beirut one day before.
See the same tears
Of the same anguish
Then remember, together
Adel Termos and Valentin Ribet

To discover how utterly splendid
How glorious was Iraq
How precious was Baghdad,
Even under a tyrant.
Then see what they did to her
Really, really see.
Be horrified
Aghast at such profound,
Irreparable harm to
An ancient people
And fabled land.

Then dig into the words of rules
Like Rule #81
To see how we are all being duped
And robbed and broken
By the same monsters
Who create proxy monsters like IS

You know,
Syria did not ask for this
They had already splendor
A subversive sophistication and beauty
That minisculed senior and junior tyrants

Palestine did not deserve this fate either.
Our Jerusalem was your Paris.
Romance, religions, books and song.

What if Parisians would see?

What if U.S. Americans saw after Nine Eleven?
Shunned their cowboy and sinister senators?
Read and investigated, instead?
Tried the guilty and damned
The reorderers of world order?

If so, for Americans then
Maybe there’d be no need to ask
What if
For Parisians now.