Vox Populi

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Sarah Browning: I go for days

I go for days forgetting these pictures –

bare brown bodies stained and curled

on cement floors or cowering in a corner,

the dog’s teeth more real than the man’s terror,


which we know from history will likely

deaden into numbness in the man, then turn,

grow menacing as an improvised

explosive device. I go for days forgetting.


In war, in the aftermath of war

bridges collapse into rivers, sense

into nonsense, bodies into meat –

offal on the slaughterhouse floor.


Another man, imprisoned here nine years –

shackled days, electric chair sizzling

in anticipation. The state was mistaken,

it seems, pays the man money.


He struggles to rebuild the bridge

of his life collapsed into those years.

He is a big man who tells his story

every day and every day he cries.


I don’t remember his name

from the newspaper. I don’t

know the names of the Iraqi men

in the pictures I go for days forgetting.

copyright 2015 Sarah Browning

3 comments on “Sarah Browning: I go for days

  1. sharondoubiago
    May 8, 2015

    Great poem, shukrin! (Who is Sarah Browning?) From: Vox Populi To: sharondoubiago@yahoo.com Sent: Friday, May 8, 2015 2:51 AM Subject: [New post] Sarah Browning: I go for days #yiv6247058618 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv6247058618 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv6247058618 a.yiv6247058618primaryactionlink:link, #yiv6247058618 a.yiv6247058618primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv6247058618 a.yiv6247058618primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv6247058618 a.yiv6247058618primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv6247058618 WordPress.com | Vox Populi posted: “I go for days forgetting these pictures –bare brown bodies stained and curledon cement floors or cowering in a corner,the dog’s teeth more real than the man’s terror,.which we know from history will likelydeaden into numbness in ” | |


    • Vox Populi
      May 8, 2015

      Hi Sharon! Sarah Browning is a poet and activist who lives in Washington, DC. She is the co-founder and Executive Director of Split This Rock, an organization that publishes and organizes readings by activist-poets. I admire her greatly.


  2. Patricia A. Nugent
    May 8, 2015

    A beautifully-written reminder of how easy it is to turn our faces away instead of demanding change. Our ability to forget is both a blessing and a curse.


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