Sclera

We are at the eye doctor

And she is showing us a diagram

Of the human eye, the pupil and

Iris and how the white of the eye

Is called the sclera, a fibrous tissue

That stretches from the cornea to

The optic nerve and I am thinking

About the photographs from Syria,

I saw, this morning, before we left,

Stretched across my computer screen,

As if they were not real,

And how I thought how,

Or how can I look at them,

The dead bodies,

Of men and women and children,

Children, I will say to him, my husband,

Later, when our own children are asleep,

And we are in bed, with darkness filling

Up this room, like smoke,

The coils in the mattress, waiting snakes,

Because in the photographs,

The bodies are lining up in rows, and

They are dead and wrapped,

Wrapped in white sheets,

With just the top of their heads out,

Exposed, like bulbs,

Like the bulb of a flower, or

How the white sheets are placed there

To cover them, like sclera.

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