–– for Ahmed Mohamed, all who came before him, and all those yet to come…
Excuse me, Mr. Chimera — won’t you
smile for the camera?
Won’t you please smile, Mr. Chimera?
How many beasts strong are you,
Mr. Chimera? How many beasts
do you harbor inside?
We must deconstruct you
like a problematic sentence,
ensure that every word
is analyzed for bullets and grudge;
is it tick, tick, tick
or tick, tock, tick, tock
we are hearing, Mr. Chimera?
Are you bomb
or timepiece, timepiece or bomb?
Your outside makes us fear
what might be inside…
what’s inside you, Mr. Chimera,
Are you angry enough
to explode now,
or are you just growing toward fire
Two choices, Mr. Chimera;
two choices, no in between, no
alternative. It’s beyond our imagination
that we might not be right
and if there’s a chance we are right
we must act as if it is a certainty,
no matter how odd or angry
that seems to you.
We’re not sorry at our lack of remorse:
the forms must be followed, Mr. Chimera,
the forms must be followed…
So won’t you smile, nod,
dress right, Mr, Chimera;
won’t you stand with your hands
behind your back in your natural stance,
Mr. Chimera? Why won’t you smile,
Mr. Chimera? Why don’t you smile?
Why can’t we get you to smile?