Tuesday, February 8, 2011


i don't want to be You
i don't want to see
what You've seen

Ciudad Juarez
so many Mexican girls
so many lives ruined
(the web extends far, from east
out west, far above the horizon
farther over it)

the bodies pile
i try and stand beside You
"How can You watch this?"

i wince
my face reflects my heart
like the moon in creek water

"I should not have heard this.
Who else has heard of this?"

raped violently
skull crushed beneath
the tons of metal, steel, plastic, fiberglass
bum-rushing downward upon the front passenger side wheel

serial killers?
(one of them strangled a girl, raped her, placed her under the bed, slept on top,
then left in the morning)

organ fielding?

prizes for drug cartels?
(their very own flesh pots)

sexual violence tourism?
(souls leave, eyes close, jaws drop)

the artists are trying to tell us
the horrific tale
in paint, in medium, by name:

(age 14)

(the one European)

(such a magnificent portrait)

Melissa Gonzalez Luna
(ended under a common grace)

Alma Margarita
(yet His grace is uncommon)


Paluma Angelica
(bountiful lips and face)

"God, how can You watch this?"

Airis Estrella was only 7 years old
found in a tube of concrete

my eyes water
a trembling sea
cascades over, filmy, warm as sanguid rivers of blood
then cold as winter chill, breath on my cheek

i don't want to be You
i can't stand to look
400 Mexican women
the toll rises
factory workers
(four hundred and...405)
raped violently

at the dump
in plain view
in the trash
in a pile
in a heep

i don't want to see this anymore

i want to watch my son
give me high fives
for the first time

i want to hear him wake
point to the bears that sit
on the shelves across from his crib

i want to hear him put lips together
form an "O" and hoot
(he doesn't even know what an owl is)

i want to hold him and
watch him watch birds
as they fly overhead

"God, I can't take this. How
can You stand to watch this?"

i think of Joseph
he had to have known about the voices
in Ramah

"That could've been my boy. That could've been Jesus."

he watched Him make friends in Egypt
play in the street
he saw His mother smile

but in the back of his mind
he dreamt of Bethlehem
and all the boys slaughtered

of Herod the harbinger of dread
(what place will he have in the basements of hell?)

Joseph, how did you endure under
so great a grace?
did the nightmares come in unwanted, unchallenged?

(how do you prepare your heart?
when tragedy comes be ready
consider in the good times
how devastated some lives are)

i am Scrooge
i stand beside You as You show me
not my pasts, my presents and futures
You show me reality
the reality You see

You showed the prophets
You showed them Ramah
You let them hear the cries of mothers

"Your mom and I ask where you are. You cover your face
and engage in a game of peek-a-boo."

You saw Rwanda
(bodies piled high,
bodies on the road,
bodies floating down rivers,
bodies divided by the machete blade's edge)

You hear Darfur

You are paying attention to Haiti
(even when every cough and cold of celebrity life is printed in our news)

You highlight the low lives

i don't want to be You

scientists claim to know as You know
(we cannot fathom it)

foolish minds hunger for power
(with the wand comes the weary heart)

we cannot love as You love
(without You lodging within)

i want to share a laugh with my wife

i am broken with Your sorrow
put the smile back on my face
may Your joy be my strength
as i attempt to part lips
and pray
for all the justice
we need
so badly


  1. wow drew.
    i'm with you brother.
    i struggle under these same thoughts and feelings.
    here's something i pulled over and jotted down the beginnings of a few weeks back:

    "...hidden in this cocoon
    within the boundaries of this skin
    in the naked essence of my being
    lies the tattered
    broken body
    of Jesus Christ
    may i forever falter
    in this disbelief
    within the tear soaked baptism
    of my soul..."

    the horrors must be held against this vision. it's the only way to reconcile anything without losing hope or your mind - especially in light of raising children.

    "...He isn't safe, but He's good..." - Lewis

  2. I love this, Drew, and it is like the echo of many of the thoughts that I've been having in my own head. The drapes of my mind lifted and from the shelter of my "safe" life a peek through the window into the gut-wrenching, heart-sickening reality of the world. Happiness being drawn from the terror in someone else's eyes (the whites bulge while pupils dilate). At times like these my self hope/help faints...my heart flutters and feels weak. How is it that so many times I can trick myself into thinking that I have it all together- under control...."I can handle anything" and then I see how impotent I am in these situations seething all around us. Where is our help? Where is their help? How long? How can I ever live the same as I did before....how can I look at things the same?...and yet I'm even more worried that somehow I will pull down the drapes, turn a blind eye, and forget what I have seen...go back to my laughter and merriment in "safety" and rationalize it all away. Where is my joy...where can hope be found?

    I love it, man...and I feel it...and I love the way you put it....to me it's a psalm.
    Thanks for sending it our way.

  3. Doug, I remember that Lewis quote. Good one. And I like the line, "within the tear soaked baptism of my soul". It's just like that sometimes isn't it? The realizations hit us. I'm thankful for the internet because it can really be an eye opener.
    Josh, I'm glad you enjoyed this man. I'm glad it spoke to you. Being a father adds a dimension to your life. It's an amazing thing. To try and protect in everyway possible yet rest in His protection for your (His) kids. I don't think my heart truly rests until he's asleep.
    To both of you guys, I hope to expound on what inspired this soon. A lot of artists got involved with a project called 400 Women. Here is a link: http://atomikaztex.wordpress.com/2010/11/24/400-women-murdered-mexican-women-from-ciudad-juarez-commemorated-by-artists/