what can i say about paris?


what can I say about paris
that hasn’t already been said?
on this day of mourning
more than 120 killed
should I call for a collective prayer?
that’s been done millions of times
on your facebooks and your twitters
and your instagrams.
I could post the french flag
over my profile picture.
but that too has been done.
I could call the attackers cowards.
yet I doubt they’d hear me anyway.
I could glue myself to cnn and watch
in horror, the carnage play
again and again
before me
like reruns of a bad action flick.
I could listen to the pundits
and sit here like,
“Yeah, let’s get those motherfuckers.”
like I actually would, knowing I won’t.
I could get mad.
I could get sad.
I could grieve a little before heading out to the club
cause that’s what we do on saturday nights.
I could tell everyone how bad I feel
for the families
on facebook.
but the truth is,
there’s nothing new I could add
that hasn’t already been said.

instead, I’m gonna say something
about the invisible ones
who haven’t been mentioned.
I’m gonna say something about Adel Termos
who tackled a suicide bomber in beirut
only one day before paris,
saving countless lives,
but couldn’t save his own
or his young daughter,
who was out shopping
with her dad
at a local market.
I’m gonna say something about
the other 40 something
unknown and dead
not only gone from this world
but gone from our collective memories
who lost their lives to equally cowardice
suicide bombers in this brown-faced city;
for the 200+ wounded and maimed,
still laying in hospital beds,
with burning flesh, melted on bones,
reeling in pain,
forced to watch world media
and social network
grieve for paris,
while ignoring lebanon’s children.

I’m gonna say something about
the 99 killed in ankara
only a month before paris
and post a flag for them
and maybe send some prayers
but I don’t pray, so I won’t.
but I saw their 250+ wounded in the streets
when few others here did.
my eyes were open then
as they are now
my heart was with them then
as it is with paris now.

I’m gonna mention the innocent killed
in bangkok too. all of them.
unknown. unmentioned.
I’d place a flag for them on my profile
but I don’t even know what the thai
flag looks like, cause they’re so far from
our consciousness.
the invisible thai, forgotten,
and discarded in history’s ashes
like so many africans before them.
like the 147 kenyan students killed
at their university
only months before paris
I could’ve said a little something
about them too
if only I had known
but the west was silent
no profile flags. no media. no words.

I’d like to go on and say something
for all victims
of world terrorism.
I’d like to ask for collective prayers
since few others seem to be.
but my pleas might fall on deaf ears.
and I don’t have the energy to keep going.
so many victims.
so many killed by cowards.
so many they can’t be counted.
so many deserving our profile pictures.
or a little mention. a little thought.
so many
my fingers just can’t type them all.
but for them,
the brown and black faceless
I send these words
to let them know
that even here,
in america
some see them too
and not just paris.

©wilson santos 2015


About Wilson Santos

Wilson Santos is a writer, filmmaker, music producer, DJ, spoken word artist, graphic designer, entrepreneur and college professor. And he makes a hell of a Mojito too.

Posted on November 15, 2015, in Poetry and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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