Here is the head of
Ahmed the Barber,
calm in the roadway,
propped on the stump of its too-short neck,
with a small, tight grin, eyes closed,
as if in the middle of a joke or a blink.
In front of the head
of Ahmed the Barber:
someone else’s sooty hand,
a woman’s dainty foot (toes polished red)
in a circle of left-over parts;
and beyond this oasis of quiet and calm,
rippling waves of terror growing:
Invaders in desert fatigues running;
police barking; children crying; sirens blaring;
old women keening, beating their breasts.
Ahmed the Barber has
no harsh words now
(and, truth be told, he never did).
When the Invaders came he shrugged and whispered,
“They will get tired -- then they will go.”
He could shave a man
in four minutes flat,
and never nicked a face
even when the bombs fell in the souk.
Shiite and Sunni were one to him:
“Are we not children
of the one Father,”
he said, comb and scissors flashing --
“even the Jews who want to disown us?
Abraham, Isaac, Jacob -- and Ishmael.
Poor Ishmael, wandering, wandering …”
Americans--,” someone protested.
“Like dragons over the seas they come
to the land between rivers, the place of beginnings --
seizing our orchards,
and the black gold beneath --
like the Anglos before them,
sipping their tea …”
“As they do unto
others, it must befall them.
So it is written,” said Ahmed,
Spraying cool, scented astringent
on desert-hardened cheeks.
But now his good
dreams in the roadway,
and we have no tears to weep for him,
all our tear ducts all dried up.
Quiet it sits, as if calmly waiting.
Over police now and
rising in cities and the great halls of justice --
implacable, seething waters rising,
vengeful, venomous waves breaking.
Gary Steven Corseri’s
articles, poetry, fiction and dramas have appeared at DissidentVoice,
CounterPunch, CommonDreams, The New York Times, PBS -- Atlanta, Villlage
Voice and elsewhere. His books include: A Fine Excess; Holy
Grail, Holy Grail; and Manifestations (edited). He can be
Other Articles and Poems
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Harry and the Clash of Civilizations
Espies Mushroom Cloud in Morning Coffee
* The Six
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* The Three
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Dung Beetles Spin the World
Tourette Cheney Renders Great Moments in American History
Judgment of Solomon
Reagan Kicked Out of Hell!
* Out of
Iraq and Plato's Cave
Admires Blair’s “Cajones” & “Only Seeing Tit in Iraq”
on First? The Bush-Cheney 9/11 Dog & Pony Show
* “Out, Out