More real to you

By Britt Munro

last week I watched a toddler

pinned like a pale starfish to a hospital floor as blood pooled from his knees

the floor was dirty

his eyes twisting in panic through a roomful of strangers ‘Baba! Baba!’


yesterday the camera landed on a woman’s face or, part of a face

the bone caved in, a hollow where the eye should be already swelling yellow, green

Please help her

said her son

please, please

she needs help


Last night the voice of six year old Hind

trembling over the phone

‘come take me. please come take me’

alone in a car with the bodies of her uncle, her cousin, her family surrounded by snipers

‘I am scared of the dark. It is getting dark. Please take me’ That was the last thing we heard


This morning a television interview,

the anchor poses a question from her polished studio to a journalist standing in the mud

his helmet nods forward

onto the mic he is holding with both hands

nods again

and he collapses on air

as we sit stunned by empty space

I have stopped working. One day my body refused. You call and say:

I am being idealistic

I am being dramatic

I am not attached to reality


Whatever it is that makes lattes and lunch and the weather more real

to you

than genocide

Terrifies me.

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