Our Museums Empty Their Beauty
About suffering they were never wrong,
The Old Prophets; how well they understood
mashi’at Allah; how it takes the form
of fear and hunger and loss and poverty and lives and crops;
How, wherever Arabs passionately await
the miracle of democracy, there always must be
Colonizers who do not specially want it to happen, creating
and disarming bombs at the edge of their Zion:
They never forgot
That even the dreadful martyrdom must run its course
Somewhere in the desert, someone’s country
Where invasions precede puppet regimes and torture houses
Set up innocently behind classrooms.
In America’s Iraq, for instance: how everyone turns away
Quite leisurely from their disaster; the foreigner may
Have heard the explosion, the mother’s cry,
But for him it is not an important failure. The sun shines
As it has to on the camouflage disappearing into the Green Zone;
and the expensive delicate convoys who must have heard
Something amazing, a boy falling into the sky,
Have somewhere to get to and sail calmly on.
To Allah we belong, and to Him is our return.