By Alfredo Gonzalez y Aguilar
We can identify this time for the gnash in many mouths.
It could identify the sky for the red and oranges colors on it,
and the black smoke column that it is elevated to the blue,
as an incense sent to the gods of violence.
When the “Intelligent Bombs” (sent by estupid people)
explode and burn hospitals, houses, markets, and kills children
and left hundreds of civilians at raw weather
without roofs, blankets, electricity, water and food.
When the explosion left women widows,
or children without their parents, or mothers without kids.
It identified this time when we saw the faces of bestiality
on the television screens asking for more money,
to kill more and “better”, and chauvinist faces
saying and bragging about high technology
to assassinate entire families, destroy crops,
tore down buildings, stops the production,
and demolish cities that were builded
in thousands of years (throughout innumerable generations),
in just one minute what its costs a lot of time
to erect and create.
We can know that there is a war some place else,
when bodies starts to come in plastic bags
in huge dark-gray planes,
when Generals came to the public
and try to very hard to explain what it has no explanation,
and they have to change tactics
and beg for more money and soldiers
to replace the ones who has been already expended.
And you see expressions in the visages of mothers,
and relatives crying publicly saying in front of cameras
the good persons they were when they were alive.
You know for sure that is a war some place,
when you are carrying a cardboard sign
made by your own hands with color markers
trying to express your self in your anger and frustration,
marching with thousands of fellows country
yelling shibboletes and countersigns in chorus,
and you see the policemen around you
armed to the teeth, ready for combat,
threaten you, provoking you to have
the most minimum excuse to beat you to death.
Your know is there a war some place else
when you can smell the gun powder in the wind,
when you see bloody bodies in crude pain,
when thousands of people shun from cities
in an interminable line with theirs belongings
(the ones they could save)
been carrying in an old cart, trying
to make the impossible to save their children’s lives.
We can easily identified that time for the slaughter,
and the tears in the eyes of the mourning ones,
and see in photos or in TV persons very well dressed
with fine white gloves on their hands
but tints in red blood of the innocents.
Your know is there is a war some place else
when you understand that your inalienable duty
is to make wherever you can to stop that madness,
and you are convinced that only you,
as part of the people, can and have to stop that war.
Los Angeles, Korea Town, April the first 2003
(Alfredo is an artist, painter, and poet from El Salvador, living in Los Angeles.)