it is not hell, but hate

do not rest,
do not close
your eyes; the
hunter is hunting
and we are the hunted

overcast and dirty,
weighty clouds lie upon
the weary; a
dark energy,
pursuing human life

the salt
lives in thy air,
and down my cheek; our
nightmares and our dreams
collide

it is not hell,
but hate,
that wakes us;
pushing us
toward eternal sleep

look closely,
search deeply
in their eyes; for
the cruelty of fire and anger,
taking breath before sunrise

written by Jennifer Fifield

Background: In San Diego, three homeless men were found with torso trauma and/or fire wounds early this week. All three incidents happened within a period of 25 hours, within a few miles of each other, and while the victims were sleeping. On Wednesday morning while driving to work, I heard that a fourth homeless victim had been set on fire.

I could not comprehend who would commit such an act of hate, or even think of it. This news saddened me on a very deep level. San Diego Police arrested a Chula Vista man Thursday morning. He is believed to be responsible for the four attacks, and possibly others. Two victims lost their lives in this series of attacks, the other two are in critical condition.

On Wednesday, I couldn’t help but begin putting words down about this. This poem evolved from the images and feelings that inundated me. My thoughts are with the four victims, and the men, women, and children sleeping on the streets and in our parks.

See related news article at KPBS.org: Suspect In San Diego Homeless Killings Had Violent History

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2 thoughts on “it is not hell, but hate

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