I was not there
But I saw it
the carnage, the riots
the bullets and their trajectories
until they hit their soft targets
and impaled them on the spot.

I was not there
But I felt it
The hate, the insecurity, the
inferior complexity, the obsessiveness
over religion, clawing out sentences,
finding hidden meanings and innuendoes
until they clawed themselves apart
and became walking mindless machines
of human-made fate.

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I was not there
But I heard it
The cries of terror, the silent screams,
the quickened heartbeats frightened
for their children’s sakes, the shuffled feet
and dragging legs leaving a
trail of red, trying to find safety
in a city exposed wide to the heavens
and the hell.

I was not there
But I went into shock. I shook my subconscious
over and over again until I cried
and spent myself. I drew
charcoal from my eyes and resolved
to wage love against hate.

You were not there
You were lucky.
But hear me now, look inside.
Fill your lungs with air and answer me this.
Will you not stand with them?!

While this poem is titled Paris in light of recent events, the feelings reflect the pain and fear felt by all humanity, be it Paris, Lebanon, Syria or Gaza where the death and destruction is due to mass terrorism or the victims of individual hate crimes, the poem pledges to stand by them all.