Poem: Houna Baghdad
A map said to indicate car bombs in Baghdad since 2003

“The heart breaks and breaks and lives by breaking” – Stanley Kunitz

Babylon is burning, the hanging gardens are black.

The 8th world wonder is that we are still alive.

I am looking at my face in the mirror.

What is left.

There is a map of every bomb in Baghdad,

making the rounds on Facebook, between baby photos and beach pics.

Entire cities and families are red circles.

The caption reads: the streets are full of our blood. We don’t have water, and we don’t have electricity.

Here is a photo of us in black and white in Barcelona.

The caption reads: In love with the idea of love.

The truth is, I can understand why a 25-year-old would dance his refugee body off the balcony in Beirut.

Dear Daraya, I’m sorry.

The only aid we could give you is mosquito repellent and headlines.

Je suis drone strikes in North Waziristan kills a wedding party of 50.

Je suis all the headlines that don’t make it to the first page of the New York Times.

Je suis all the bombs that rip families like ours apart from Taiz to Tul Karem

Je suis there is no difference between unaccompanied minor and orphan if mama is dead.

Je suis don’t you dare pinkwash this, Tel Aviv.

I don’t have enough life in me, to keep up with all this dying.


For background on the map, see here.

Jehan Bseiso 

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