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    Wednesday, June 29, 2005

    I See

    I see chaos on lithographs*

    Baghdad is burning. Smoke curling, bombed out shells, hovering plaster pieces, your concrete walls. I see this through the photographer that sees this thousands and thousands of miles away. But what I see are legs. Faces with barred teeth, the whites of eyes, turned red and inside out.

    Three fire pockets blow upwards, flames licking. Orange aglow. Splintered street corners, intersections of glass. A littering of an inside. 4 cars blown upwards and out, a half circle arc. Metal pieces shot quickly.

    You in your blue polka dots, house dress almost. Just off center. You reflect the blue of the window to your right, a perfect symmetry. I can only identify you by a backside and probably never again. You are turned bravely towards. Bombed out shell. Concrete erect. Black tar is blowing. The architecture is curvy, wavy with heat.

    Half forward facing and half back. A colorful array of those still standing. Yet all are in a state of forward, one leg lifted. Heel to toe. Black shiny hair, grey film. Holes where windows were and the curtains in tatters. Skinny armed boy is wearing blue sandals. He stares, standing in a doorway. Half erect, a deep maroon, like saloon doors. Only they never swung. Half hinged even. Dark brown eyes mirroring images.

    I’ve looked and looked and never once recalled the color of the sky. Yet, I strive to convey the minute details.

    *NY Times, a photograph of Four car bombs exploded within about 10 minutes of each other in Baghdad on June 23 by Muhammed Uraibi/Associated Press


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