Himself Like a Mosaic Pattern
- by Elder Zamora
"In this war, like in all wars, unfortunate casualties are a reality.
They must not cloud the overall objective"
--Secretary of Defense (1961-68) Robert s. McNamara,
on the My Lai massacre
The brick-layer, himself like a mosaic pattern on the floor,
on the sand-blown concrete, his body in full geometric magnificence,
left arm extended in a soft curve, head back,
in the style of the Byzantine, or some ancient Etruscan master.
His hand, burnt into a tight fist, still holding a sword,
a spade, covered not in blood but in that days mortar,
baked hard by the sun, and the heat of burning rooftops,
which cry out to announce the bombing of Baghdad.
His abdomen, torn open in the style of something new,
in the style of smart bomb, decorated in crude red paint,
"TO SADDAM, FROM THE HELL-RAISING BOYS,"
done by hands who never before heard of the Tigris,
The once neat stack of blue-green tiles, fallen over and broken
Small pieces, mixed-in with the shards of window glass,
blown in from across the street
with such force that some actually cut into his skin.
A glistening field around his outstretched limbs.
And dusk falls on the half-finished portico,
Slender support beams resonating with the sound of
Amplified minarets, calling out, not to prayer,
but with piercing air-raid sirens.
The rush of people recorded on split cement from a torn bag,
footstep upon terrified footstep.
And the builder, the artist, the master of walls,
a silent and passive observer,
a witness to the fall of the "City of Peace."
A permanent fixture in the grander mosaic
Elder Zamora is a member of the
Not In Our Name (Mt. SAC) Student Alliance