Of the earth, they are the wretched;
deserving of trough and bog and binding
of sub- and -altern and under-
to break; beneathing and belowing
of less and lessen and less and lessening
to gag, to grab, to grope, to goad, to grate.
held in living
and let to dying.
Today, they are in death and of death and deadening and dying.
polluters, they pollute and are polluting and are pollution.
they are it; it-s of a worthless worth unworthily present
made human; this dignity in having been
of a people, lost
no longer ruining
they were of ruins and rhymes and roads and riddles
and were ruined.
For Tomorrow, they lived and loved and were loving and were lively
they did and they didn’t
they were and they were not
they moved and breathed
and they thought
and they needed.
in past – in having passed – a present is given;
that in future, they ate, they did eat, they had eaten
in future, they ate from plates, and
in the future
they ate from plates
of finest porcelain.
This title comes from the Larissa Sansour film (2015) and photo exhibition (2017) of the same name.
Abeir Soukieh is a Lebanese-Australian poet who was born and raised in Canberra. Her work can be found in Cordite Poetry Review and be:longing magazine.