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Monday, April 18, 2016


by James Penha

“You’ll see people complaining that the media doesn’t give as much prominence to terrorism atrocities outside of Western Europe as it does to those that take place in cities like Paris or Brussels. The data shows it is much, much harder to get people to read those stories.” 
—Martin Belam, Medium, March 28, 2016

I shall always New York. And on Marathon Day I stand again
with Boston, and #BlackLivesMatter in every Charleston nightly.
Bien sûr je suis Paris parce que j’aime Paris chaque instant,
chaque moment de l'année. Bruxelles?  Bruxelles est assez
de français pour moi d'être Bruxelles maar ook
Vlaams naar Brussel elk moment van het jaar.
Last summer I devoured simit and baklava at Taksim windows
and petted sprawled dogs in the shade of the Obelisks: İstanbul'u
(but to Ankara I have never been).
Part of me must be Lahore. Remember? it was Easter after all
although I cannot find a timely # for that attack 3 weeks ago
(#PeshawarAttack impertinent; #PakistanBleeding obsolete) and
if میں نے پاکستان تھے whenever a bomb explodes in Pakistan
how to find the time to face Java and Bali?
islands where I love a Muslim whose faith in  الله 
is sighted darkly at every Western checkpoint, mall, hotel,
monitored whitely by attendants on Southwest Airlines,
and so I will—must—be Aleppo, Hit and Lashkar Gah 
walking dead from graves cracked open by exceptional shocks
of retribution and survival 
of the selfish.

James Penha edits TheNewVerse.News .