Poetry from Christopher Bernard

Eyeless in Gaza

Strong, blind, he stumbles over the broken land.
His teeth are black. Boots crush a few innocents.
What does he care? His old wounds crowd his mind.
“Make everyone pay! Who pitied me? No pity!
Kill the children! Kill the mothers! Kill the men,
above all, who blinded me! Wipe them out!”
His fists hurl through the darkness.
				          The YouTube videos
show children
left behind his boot,
sand packed in their eyes, crusting their lips like dirty glitter,
the black-scarved mothers hysterical with grief,
the sunlight like a scar.

No pity, no pity – an eye for an eye,
and the whole world has gone blind. Evil
stalks men. It eats them. Then it spits them out.

Pity
         everyone,
 		   all of us –

or who shall pity us?


Aaron Bushnell, Martyr

At attention, in battle fatigues,
he stands before the concrete
cube within which
the ambassador sends his dispatches
between capitals. “The president
may say what he wants. The alliance
holds. Only the funds matter.
Gaza never existed anyway.”

He is staring at you.
His clothes are slick
as though he were standing in the rain.
There is a movement of his hand.

The ambassador
looks up, startled,
by a strange smell
as the man outside
becomes, for a moment,
fire.

_____

Christopher Bernard is an American poet, novelist and essayist. (“Eyeless in Gaza” first appeared in his collection Chien Lunatique, but he feels it is even more relevant today than when it first appeared.)

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