You ask about Baghdad, 'how is it now?'
(You probably think of the news,
You want confirmation).
For a second, I close my eyes,
Not easy, to answer that sort of a question!
I open my eyes, ready to answer:
Hold on a moment, let me think how to reply,
(I want to sound smart)
I think of the postcolonial burden,
Race, gender, ethnicity,
All hold me back....
I need to tell you something intelligent:
(Shall I give a witty answer?
Borrow from pop culture? Movies perhaps?
Shall I continue the game of a sophisticated academic?)
The moment grows too long, I need to face your inquiry...
I swallow all the images of blood, destruction and war,
(No need to explain),
I hold off tears, and simply say,
"Baghdad is not fine!"