A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature
And you, who have not left your country
because you must; you, untested
by the state’s intent to harm;
you, a lucky one, whose only life
fattens and lazes on the couch even
as the camera’s faceless voice insists
something horrible happened here,
can you imagine the unrecorded
knock, the disappeared whose gestures
resembled yours but sooner stopped?
An ordinary place, a waiter—
extended arms on which plates balanced;
smells of steak, sweat, gravy;
bluster of drink in the thick, chipped
glasses—taken. They told him, Come.
To imagine his life does not redeem
your own, but not to imagine seems
worse, collaboration, as he straightened,
untied his apron, food-stained and frayed,
and folded it carefully on the chair rail.
Outside, car doors slam shut.
Copyright 2018 Sandy Solomon