Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

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 ” | |

    Like

    • 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.

      Like

  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.

    Like

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