H e a r t   S o n s   &   H e a r t   D a u g h t e r s   of   A l l e n   G i n s b e r g

N a p a l m   H e a l t h   S p a :   R e p o r t   2 0 1 4 :   A r c h i v e s   E d i t i o n






Addressing the Names


Under a moonless night

the dirty head of a woman––

her body buried in sand

waits for the deadly sentence

while she moans to the stars:

“My child, my child.”


In a dust devil of wind,

a white shrouded woman--

a camera around her neck,

dances before the crying woman

snapping photographs.

Neither notices the army of protesters

nor the tremors of politicians

that rupture the murderous ground.


Later, TV rooms broadcast a woman

walking in circles celebrating:

“My child, my child, I’m free,

but many others have died.”

It is impossible to know whether

the woman who has been photographed

is the same woman now free.


There are galaxies of names

crying out like comets

falling into black holes.

Only a few manage to emerge

in fresh clothes

traveling on northern lights

dressed and free.



[Originally published in NHS 2008, http://www.poetspath.com/napalm/nhs08/Vivian_Demuth.htm.]