HEADLINE: “ISIS claimed responsibility after a 17-year-old migrant attacked”

“I don’t want to live in Europe anymore,”
my friend Domagoj says, after
a maniac mows down
pedestrians with a truck in Nice on Bastille Day
“what the fuck”
being our shared sentiment
at the appalling stream of neverending
newsfeeds of firsthand accounts
of terror and grief and huddling in
hopes of survival with other stricken terrified
people, watching or hearing

madness unfold beyond the
net of unbreathing stillness and
silent-as-you-can weeping, praying to gods
and saints and ancestors or the dust
of the stars that spawned us that it please not
come any nearer

“You don’t want to live here, babe,”
is my reply, thinking
of the recent shootings of and by police and
civilians, of the rising bloodied tides of
anti-immigrant sentiments and mounting
racial tensions, of #BLACKLIVESMATTER
and the farce of the upcoming election and
the republican and democratic national

“Who could be so selfish as to
bring children into a world
like this,” I wonder, watching
childhood friends pop out babies and feign
happily ever afters via endless
too-smiling social media posts, as though nothing
were amiss, meanwhile

my Russian lit-loving printmaking comrade in
middle America bemoans the invasion of
Christian cultists on her street
armed with six children apiece, vacant
eyes, and baby bumps in evidence

there is little solace
in the clean lines of poetry inked
on the page, or tearing and gluing strips of handmade
paper and newsprint to form
an artistic gestalt
perhaps we too can somehow achieve a better, bigger
picture, yet
beneath the glue’s heavy hand we
like the paper
warp in slight, ungainly ways, curl up
on ourselves, and are still
at the edges

Photo Credit: Denis Bocquet Flickr via Compfight cc

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