After Auden (Gare du Midi, 1938)
A nondescript refugee hides among crowds from the south
and walks into the concert hall, a face
to identify which the gendarmes have not yet contrived
methods of recognition. Something about the mouth
infects those around him with brute ideology.
His bullets go flying. In the disgrace
of his suicide vest he affronts a city
whose solemn and resolute future has just arrived.
To a terrorist…
You kept a low profile, just short of anonymity
in the republic of citizens you masqueraded as part of;
send citizens now to the hospital and the mortuary
with your reprehensible suicide vest, your Kalashnikov.
Your atrocity fills our hearts with disgust and loathing,
the precipitate of missiled cities and felled towers
but even as streets run with blood and discarded clothing
we affirm freedom, love, brotherhood with candles and flowers.
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This post was written by John Gohorry