Learning to Count

215

a minivan in Baghdad

painted Ramadan streets

manslaughter red and

mothers wait for their children

wait for their children

mothers wait.

 

20

handsome men in a bakery

in Bangladesh

silence tongues

unable to fasten themselves

around Koran Arabic

because their

parents sat them on their laps

lulling them to sleep

in Italian

in Japanese

in English

instead.

 

42

men detonated

like grenades in an Istanbul airport

blasting through

bone and skin of

young boys and girls

we all were at

some point.

 

1

a teenage boy cuts

sleeping girl, dreaming

in Gaza

both too young for blame

and a Mourner’s Kadish

is prayed by a mother

who could

have been mine.

 

49

an American as

American as apple pie

with AR-15 bullets

remixes Latin beats

and Orlando gay club thumpa

thumpa thump

with screaming boys in blood smudged make-up

and crying girls who used to watch the

L-Word in secret so their parents

wouldn’t know things about

them.

 

25

a godless man

shouts Allahu Akbar!

in a Kuwaiti mosque

before turning the hall

into a burial site where

prayers used to

be mumbled over by

children

learning

how to do it like their fathers.

 

129

Bombs

are the last thing

heard

in soccer stadium rafters

by Parisian school boys and

mothers wait for their children

wait for their children

mothers wait.

 

 

 


Poem by Michael Lewis

Read in Italian:

Imparare a Contare 

 

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