Letter to an Iraqi Physicist

Letter to an Iraqi Physicist


O Gentleman

not quite a gentleman but in your own mind

buoyant, a DIY high-brow daydream in designer

collared shirt and loafers, taxied everywhere

by a sense of importance, oyster with a pearl

of impatient wildness, too good to be bohemian

too rich to be bourgeois


O Gentleman

I feel you will not die but dissolve like salt

only to crystallise somewhere else, reborn in sun

perhaps blonde and not Iraqi but Finnish and still

constructing the same classical altar to yourself

turning in the incense of your own superiority

bowing to disinfectant, too clean to be relaxed

too intelligent to be self-aware.


O Gentleman

science holds many things but tenderness

is not one of them. Kidnapped by your fear

of disease, you shut yourself off from common people

without knowing that common people still love

with all of themselves, common people still breathe

your air and deserve your kindness. O Gentleman

how do you not see

the fool you make of yourself

more than the fool you make of me.



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