Children writhe and scream
on cold hospital floor in Syria
Go still. Exterminated.
Orthodox Jewish virgins
naked, hid tender breasts,
fell shot into pits of Baba Yar.
Emit Til smiled at a white girl,
floated up beaten, bloated. Six
church girls exploded in Bombingham.
Tootsie, Hutu, dead, dead , dead,
crunched under wheels of jeeps
on river roads in Rwanda.
I vomit. Response is limbic,
Deeper than words, Unspeakable.
Shame. I cannot face my reflection
I know I am of the species of
monsters who. laugh and kill
gloat and justify, dehumanize.
Rage. I am of that species.
Can't deny I imagine Adolf Hitler
handcuffed to a chair, me avenger.
Scimitar to his throat and smile
on my lips. Howl in my throat,
his blood on my hands. No remorse.
Helplessness. Hitler is long dead by
his own hand. Today's genocidal killers,
psychopaths, monsters, I cannot touch.
I have no power. I can only hide and cower.
Today, tonight tomorrow, they may come
for me and mine. We will simply die.
I wash my face and remember.
my ancestors did not cower and die.
They fled Portugal's Inquisition, started new.
Sewed their gold and jewels into
the hems of their garments, faked a
costume party, chartered a boat,
Shame paralyses. Rage self destructs.
Helplessness is a deadly illusion..
King of Denmark put on the Jewish star.
Paul Kagame saved refugees in Hotel Rwanda
Nelson Mandella persisted in prison.
Rosa Parks sat. Dr. King marched.
Anne Frank wrote her diary, Otto Frank shared it.
Billie Holliday sang out lynchings strange fruit
Aushchwitz survivor wears Jewish star. solid gold.
I will vomit, but will wash my face, find my feet.
In face of the unspeakable, I will struggle for words.
I will remember love has triumphed and can again.
I will not cower helpless, but will fight back, escape.
I will not be ashamed. but will immortalize the victims.
I will not rage but will organize to prevent, protect.