“Open Your Eyes” poem by Eric Alai

I wonder if pres. Monkey imagined that
his daughter might lie there
in the street where I saw the
faces of my sisters
in Neda’s face after she fell
with her eyes looking at me and
her father telling her,
“Open your eyes, open your eyes!”

My heart bursts for those who suffer,
even the Sharpshooter,
who put Neda in his sight, burst the
heart of Neda for theological “right.”
Sharpshooter—what do you think of while you lie
in bed at night after you’ve taken off your
bullet belts, holsters, and helmet?
Sharpshooter—did they order you to shoot one,
an order from Bearded Turban Man and Monkey?
Afterward, did you joke with your comrades,
saying “What a shot!”
Or did you cry in the darkness of your room while your
bullet belts, holsters, and helmet lay on your dresser?

Biker Baboons and their vroom, vroom, vrooms down
streets with iron mallets, playing polo, and the
young and old stumble, bloody, broken bones,
toward the eyes of the cell phones.

pres. Monkey, Bearded Turban Man,
Sharpshooter, and Biker Baboon
claim spirituality, yet they kill
spirit, silence voices—
how can that be,
that in this they rejoice?
They silence spirit,
silencing freedom.

Their crime not only a crime against one,
but billions—us.
Neda is all of humanity.

One morning soon as they
begin to put on their garb, they
will decide not to, they
will decide, finally, to open their eyes.

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