Iraq 2005

I read of a man
killed by another man
who cut out his eyes
and then went to visit a third man
to prove to him that the first man
was dead for after all
look here here in my pocket
here are his eyes.
There are no other available details.

We have butchers in this country.
I suppose if you were a butcher
it might not mean so much
to cut the eyes out of a dead man’s body
a job of work a skilled trade.

Did he carry the eyes in something?
An eyeglass case or a can
or a simple bag plastic or otherwise?

Did the man he showed them to
recognize the man who had been killed
from his eyes as they were proffered?
Was there anything distinctive or particular
about them when they had previously been in use?

Did the Sheikh (because he was)
when shown the eyes
think fucking hell
I didn’t mean his actual eyes?
Or not.

Was there a gift involved then?
What do you give the man who brings you
the separated eyes of your enemy?

Many questions details
but more than anything
the emptying of the word disbelief
for it doesn’t meet my incapacity
for understanding any of it.

Or the sharing of this world
with any of three men involved in this story
two of whom presumably are still living
and perhaps even now considering
what might be available in the refrigerator
because it’s gone four
and I have to pick up my boy from school
(the day’s gone by so quickly)
and we’re going to buy art supplies and a burger
some dry ice for his science project.

It all starts out somewhere.

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