as names were read at the die-in
each one punctuated by the gong
and the alternating surges
of booming rage and crackling sorrow
trembling through the reader’s voice.
as we marched through the streets in protest
and I contemplated the abbreviated life
behind the name I wore around my neck
(Abdelrahman Jamal al-Zamli)
in a noose of remembrance.
as I read the news of more children slaughtered
in an overcrowded refugee shelter
in the middle of the night
in violation of international law
and of all that is good in this world.
as I felt my heart swell and choke my breath
knowing that the depth of my pain
was but a mere papercut
beside the wounds of survivors
gutted by the anguish
of loved ones obliterated before their eyes
and the terror of not knowing
who will be next.
and I weep
and I lose sleep
in disbelief at this
avoidable void of humanity.