Kanghui Zhang

Three for Those Who (Hadn’t) Died

To the victims of U.S. drone strikes in Syria.

Done, mama, done
Done, mama, done
I done blast those terries off their damned roofs
I done silence those bodies posing threat to our home
Done, mama, done
I done do my duty today
I done report what’s reported and write what’s written
I done aim at targets, double taked or not even
I done hidden my name, humbly, no boastin’
Of what I done today.

Children? Or monsters?
Three added to collateral damage,

No halting, no hesitation
No weakness, no limitation
No morals, no inhibition
On what needs to be done.

If these are children,
Then they needed to die anyhow, surely.

We are so good at making sense of nonsense
We are so willing to rearrange pieces of our life
So they are in order, and they’re logical
And they are what god assigned to us
What we deserve–
No better.

But then,
But then,
Just as this world that is so just
Confirm its bias so uniformly
It’s been affirmed against errors, trialed against wrongs
And still no one dares to challenge this order.

They never even had their dinner, so quickly
The drones hit them, so precise
Any neighbor would have told you, so quickly
That they couldn’t afford better oil for the ovens, so despite
The black smoke only because of baking
By the peaceful people inside–
No weapons factory is worth a second examination
No enemy worth a second try.

They were gone without having their dinner, and
The sound of a screaming kitten, they thought it was
Until they dug her out the rubbles
The last daughter of the tomorrow in this home without tomorrows.
So it is, and the world keeps going,
The sky doesn’t cave in, even grandma makes sense
Of this logic without logic and this hope without hope
Because she is human, just like us
Of blood and flesh and heart and mind
And tears are wept, and sorrows are quelled,
Thus begins the beginning–as each time–without fail.

We are so good at making sense of nonsense.

No Longer Angry

To the mothers who never wished to be.
They may chain you up, rip out your teeth, rob you of your body and mind
But one day they will feel your story–
Despite the authorities scrambling to cover it up.
Let them face their indignation, then.
Until that time…

I am no longer angry
No more angry, anymore
Than my people are embracing
Than my mother leaping with joy.
I perish slowly, with glazed eyes
Reflecting a small, burning heart of hearts
That I finally
After I put away my fury.

I am no more angry
Than my sister is, now
Bathed by a reddening sun
The same patch of sky
Which I looked up to with wonder–
How long ago?
I can’t remember.

I am no longer angry,
And this must justify why
I pour myself onto paper
And lie through my teeth.
Lives are not lives
But peace is peace.
I nod along, and fold myself into a little space
In this little land, across a sea–
One of many infinities–
And I am reminded, here and there
Despite the waves crashing into me
Every time I turn to look back–

Why I feel, felt, this timeless fury
And I almost have to remind myself–
I am no longer angry.

Kanghui Zhang is a junior at Los Osos High School. She is a human rights activist, a baker, and a poetry addict. Kanghui immigrated to the U.S. in 2014 from Qingdao, China. She greatly enjoys learning new things about the world around her and spending time with her family. Kanghui aspires to become a human rights lawyer to defend the common dignity of those who may not be able to speak up for themselves.