When you come the horns blare and the dust scales the air thick with the perfumed harbinger of your dance
You come sheltered in the cocoon of shadows
Your feet floating on the savannah coloured grass
You are the kid that I carried in my arms in the goat pen as it bleated for the milk of the mother whom we slaughtered that night
You come now dancing covered in that goatskin that we left in Baghdad when
the bullets killed the last of your kin
Your back bent
Your knees keeling
choking the life out of the grass
Your spirit resurrecting as I clap to the tune of your dirge
One- two- one-two
What happens when we forget the names of the dead?
When we call the living by the names of those who are gone?
Do we acknowledge that the living exist?
Are they only alive because of those who are gone?
Are those gone only remembered through the life of the living?
Do they retain the lives that they lived before the living came along?
What happens when we call the living the names of the dead, in love?
When we remember their own names yet insist on calling them by the departed?
Is it that we see them like I see you now?
Do I bury you again when I remember you like this:
Dancing around me,
A spirit in the robe of the goat that we slaughtered that night in Baghdad
Like I remember you in my own memories because I have forgotten you too and
I am now calling the living by the names of those who are gone?