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The Time It Takes
by Jeanne Marie Spicuzza

Renowned physicist
and Big Bang theorist
Victor Weisskoff
once said that

in the beginning
there was a moment
one billionth of a second long
followed by

a brief spark,
a bright flash,
and God said
“Let there be Light.”

He saw no contradiction
between faith and observation,
a human being,
and a snake.

The time it takes to wait
in the pause before
a flash of light
is the time it takes

to think
the minute before a strike.

A thousand years
of day and night
of orgasm,

and birth,
a cell splits
a breast drips
a cup spilled

and swept
a flat tire
a car backfires
explosion, erosion

of cities and roads
fires and smoke
a child dies
a mother cries

lambs slaughtered
raped daughters
slaying and

one last breath–
piercing death.

The time it takes to anticipate
the pause before a flash of light
is the time it takes to wait
the moment before a strike

Precious tempos
best spent
contemplating life
and worth

its wait
in peace

Greater than
any war effort
is a collective human

No more massacres
orchestrated by the elite
in the names of God!

East Timor,

All of their people
are screaming as we speak.

U.N. inspectors
from Australia and the U.S.,
two countries that supported
the war found that

the entire region
of the Middle East
spends one billionth
of the dollars in arms per year

than that of the United Stated,
the country allegedly under threat.

No weapons
of mass destruction
have been manufactured
in Iraq since 1974.

No conspiracy
between Saddam Hussian
and Osama Bin Ladan
has been found.

Close your eyes
and consider this:

the power to
destroy a life
is not nearly as important
as the power to create it.

Now imagine this:

A universe is born
in a flash of light-–
the time it takes
a child to die.

Now imagine this:

the child is an Iraqi.
You cradle her in your arms.
Are you proud of your country?
Or do you mourn the loss of a life?

Whether Christian or Muslim
Palestinian or Persian
American, Iraqi or Jew
these are the questions

you must ask yourself
before you support a war

because no matter
who pulls the trigger
the blood is on the hands
of the whole world

and I cry for this
and we cry for this
as souls dreaming
we are human beings–

in the time it takes to create
inside a brilliant flash of light
in the time it takes to kill,
obliterate another life

is all the time
that is required
to consider doing what is right
in the pause before the strike.


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