After Guernica ~ Richard Hoffman


we believed we’d seen it and seen it

clearly: sociopathy and its rationale,


the need of the state, protection racket

that gives the bullies not only something


to do, but something to do without

account, with impunity. Over the door


not the blood of the lamb but the word

WAR: so that now in that house death


is welcome, invited,  as in Gaza,

where two men hold a charred roast


of a child, seared meat and bone, for

the camera, for our eyes. Do we feel


pity? Yes. Horror? Yes. Who cares?

Who cares what we feel, looking?


We retch at the wretched. Who cares?

They are not us. We are troubled at


the breakdown in dialogue, the failure

of diplomacy. It’s very complicated,


we read; negotiations have broken off.

Yes, right there: where the child’s foot


once was, there, where,  like a leg

of lamb, the bone pokes through.