Extrajudicial Ghazal

This entry is part 9 of 9 in the series Morning Porch Poems: Summer 2016


Daily, the toll rises. Cradled by the ones who love them,
the bodies sprawl in blood, on the streets, as the sky darkens.

Photos in the news show what naked grief looks like: just like
the Pietà, but rawer. Not beautiful or marble, as the sky darkens.

There was the little girl who waited for her father, afternoons on the stoop.
Who’ll wear the boots and raincoat he promised her, as the sky darkens?

The family sat down to their meagre meal. Was it fish and rice?
The bullet sang through the open doorway, as the sky darkened.

The gunmen are anonymous; only eyes show above tightly cinched bandanas.
They pull up on motorcycles, aim, then drive away as the sky darkens.

How does one know who’s truly guilty, who’s accidental casualty?
All are easy targets for the flimsiest charge, as the sky darkens.

The one in power says Fuck human rights; urges people to take
things into their own hands. The sky weeps blood as it darkens.

The fast buck, the swindle, the easy lay, the profit from every little
skirmish or big war. The poor don’t get commissions as the sky darkens.

Rain, incessant floods, the terrible traffic that chokes the streets:
cemeteries of poverty where the living dead reside, as the sky darkens.


In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.

Series Navigation← Who names the insects singed by flame?

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