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Guernica


Yes, even here, here more than anywhere
more than before
we know and we see what happens
what you are doing
to the world we have left you


What else is there to do with our time?


Yes, I was there, Colin Powell
to see you
standing in front of my Guernica
a replica, it’s true
but my vision, still
of what fell
upon men and upon women
and on children on children
more than anything on that child
in Guernica on that day in 1937
from the sky


Of course Guernica wasn’t there.
They covered it, our Guernica
covered it so that you could speak.
There in the United Nations building in
New York.
So that you could speak about Iraq.


So that Guernica wouldn’t bother you


Why should it it bother you
disturb you?
Why didn’t you demand that they remove
the covering?
reveal
the painting?
Why didn’t you point to the horse
that screamed and died
that died and died again and again
the woman with the child, forever
dead
in her arms
the child who shelters now and here
in that darkness
the child who watches with me
while you, Colin Powell
talk
and talk
and talk more


Why didn’t you say, Colin Powell,
that this horror was done by that tyrant.
Why didn’t you say
that this had already been done and undone in Iraq.
Why didn’t you say this is what this
man wants to do with
the world.
Why didn’t you want to use Guernica
to prove
what you wanted to prove?


Were you scared of the mother?
Were you scared of the image of the
mother
scared of the image that came
out of the painting
out of the howling image of
the mother
are those who you will bomb
from afar
are those who you are to kill
the child
no no no
he is the one who kills them them
from afar with the bombs
and we far from your eyes
and always close to death
we imprisoned in death
Were you scared of that
that the horse
would show the world the future
that is coming
three thousand cruise missiles in the
first hour
falling on Baghdad
ten thousand Guernicas
falling on Baghdad
from the sky
in the first hour


Were you scared of my art
that continues to accuse
more than 65 years
later
history keeps telling
my image stays dangerous
this hanging light
like the eye of someone dead
my eye that sees you, though dead


be careful, careful


careful of the eye of the child
in the darkness


you have to join with us
with the child and me
with the horse and the mother
here on the other side


you will join us then then
in a voyage that we will all make
all of us
Colin
Colin Powell


is that why you were
afraid of me?
you have to join us
and then an eternity
looking
looking
nothing more than looking
together with us
and with the distant dead
not only of Iraq
not only those dead


is that why, such fear
of that eye in the darkness?


seeing
your own eyes opened at the
force
having to see
the world you left


with nothing else to do
with our time


condemned to look again
and again
behind us


until there are no more
Guernicas
until those who live understand


and only then, Colin Powell
only then


a world without Guernicas


and then
only then, yes
yes, then, yes
you and me
we can rest
you and me
you and me and the child who died


[translated by Justin Podur]

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