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Her Eyes

I saw a woman’s face in the paper
she was from Iraq
I was looking at her
and she was looking right back

her eyes still haunt me
over all of the distance
such a human insistence
demanding answers
asking questions
why have you done this
why don’t you do something to stop it

these briefcase killers
these bureaucrat thugs
these pushers of bullets
and runners of drugs
these colonels and statesmen
these newspaper drones
this idiot system
this heart of stone

don’t look don’t see
don’t hear don’t think
sit back relax
have a smoke take a drink
go to work go home
watch tv watch the game
let them breed dead babies
in your ignorant name

and her eyes still haunt me
over thousands of miles
and millions of agonies
reaching reminding
and tearing the blankness
how can you do this
why don’t you do something to stop it

are we all just pretending
depending on them
to give us excuses
when the going gets grim
to pass resolutions
to make it alright
so that in spite of everything
we can still sleep at night

if we don’t do
what has to be done
we’ll be criminal ancestors
everyone
criminal ancestors
doomed to the dust
and whatever happens
will happen to us

her eyes still haunt me
screaming the silence
all the complicity
of these American hands
I have to answer when she asks me
how can you do this
and why don’t you do something to stop it

I saw a woman’s face in the paper
she was from Iraq
I was looking at her
and she was looking right back