a moment of silence

September 17, 2010 § 3 Comments

h/t dark daughta

a moment of silence

Emmanuel Ortiz

excerpt

Before I begin this poem, I’d like to ask you to join me in a moment of silence in honor of those who died in the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11th, 2001.

I would also like to ask you to offer up a moment of silence for all of those who have been harassed, imprisoned, disappeared, tortured, raped, or killed in retaliation for those strikes, for the victims in Afghanistan, Iraq, in the U.S., and throughout the world.And if I could just add one more thing…

A full day of silence…

for the tens of thousands of Palestinians who have died at the hands of U.S.-backed Israeli forces over decades of occupation.

Six months of silence…

for the million and-a-half Iraqi people, mostly children, who have died of malnourishment or starvationas a resultof a 12-year U.S. embargo against the country.

…And now, the drums of war beat again.

Before I begin this poem, two months of silence…for the Blacks under Apartheid in South Africa,where “homeland security” made them aliens in their own country

Nine months of silence for the dead in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, where death rained down and peeled back every layer of concrete, steel, earth and skin, and the survivors went on as if alive.

A year of silence for the millions of dead in Viet Nam­—a people, not a war—for those who know a thing or two about the scent of burning fuel,their relatives bones buried in it, their babies born of it.

Two months of silence

for the decades of dead in Colombia, whose names, like the corpses they once represented, have piled up and slipped off our tongues.

Before I begin this poem,

Seven days of silence for El Salvador

A day of silence for Nicaragua

Five days of silence for the Guatemaltecos

None of whom ever knew a moment of peace in their living years.

45 seconds of silence for the 45 dead at Acteal, Chiapas

1,933 miles of silence for every desperate body

That burns in the desert sun…

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