for those that perished in and survived the earthquake that hit Haiti on January 12, 2010

by Ewuare Osayande


there is no dignity in death

poverty is not natural

is not like sunshine or rain

this pain is manufactured

is the product of rationalized greed

as internationalized creed

a shower of screams

is all that can be heard

in this aftershock of horror

in this hell called Haiti as in Hades

where blood runs like paint in a Basquiat portrait

chronicling the catastrophe

reporters rush to scene

to objectively watch the survivors die

while daydreaming of winning the Pulitzer Prize

relief workers expert in severing limbs

and severing families

set up blockades and ration aid

while supplies sit stockpiled at the airport

controlled by the americans

who’ve sent in their marines

landing on the presidential palace green

brandishing rifles rather than bread

on orders to kill the people’s will

and accurately count the dead

so vultures who’ve learned how to speak

with protective gear that hide their beaks

can harvest the organs

funded by corporations that dine on corpses

as a way of life

and sponsor telethons

so others can expunge their guilt of privilege

by texting ten dollars to their charity of choice

and get the chance to talk to Julia Roberts

about what a shame those poor people have to live in such squalor

yet refuse to cast blame

as Half-a-Buck the rapper recites

“holla if you hear me” from the teleprompter

sampling cries for help in Creole

in his yet-to-be-released remix

the proceeds to benefit those damned by Pat Robertson on CBN

under contract with the devil going by the guise of Rupert Murdoch

who owns the Bible he touts as God’s Holy Word

broadcasting to the suburban family

heads bowed at their dining room table

praying “there by the grace of God go I …” on vacation

on a Royal Caribbean cruise liner

docked just out of ear-shot

of the screams of those with legs being sawed off

while the descendants of Columbus sip piƱa coladas

basking under the same sun

that burns the skin of those drowning in a sea of concrete

drinking margaritas of misery

mixed with their own urine just to survive

you wanna know where the fault lies?

just follow the 200 year-long fault line

that runs back from Port-a-Prince to DC

where Thomas Jefferson walks the halls

with his slave concubine in tow

conferring with Napoleon

on how to overthrow the first Black republic

in the Western hemisphere

for fear that word might stir

them nigras in the cotton fields down below

but back to the coverage on CNN

the announcement’s just been made

that the relief effort will officially end

as the sound of generators try to drown out

the cries for help

that would otherwise be heard

word has it

Toussaint’s spirit was seen

giving mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to a million Haitians

conjuring the resurrection of his people

zombie Christs

rising from their concrete tombs

with the ash of their ancestors’ determination

pouring like blood from their faces

brandishing machetes in their cries

Copyright 2010 by Ewuare X. Osayande