I’m not sure how useful
I can be as a witness.
Everything happened so fast.

I remember the smell of fear,
An ear stuck to the ceiling,
Subtraction everywhere.

Through the smoke
I saw men surrendering.
One of them
Looked like me.

It was quiet after the explosion
You could hear people deciding
To live or die.

There was intelligence on the floor,
Dreams running down the street
Asking to be photographed.

I overheard a girl with braids
Asking time to go backwards
Please just for a second.

It was a reasonable request
Everyone agreed
And went on bleeding.

In a corner
Were heaped like rags.

I wanted to sleep
And give away my eyes.

I remember thinking of the ways
All of us give the bombers their orders,
Suicidal each of us
In our own way.

Suddenly, a few reasons
To survive:

Lullabies demanding to be sung
Gift of exhaling, inhaling
Maps waiting to find us
Numberless dawns ready for pulling
Out of endless nights.

                                                   -- Panama, October 15, 2006

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