No, I don’t remember your name.
I left it in Ivor’s notebook
translated from phonetic Arabic
next to details of the assault on Brega.
I didn’t find your family
and I didn’t show them your photograph.
I didn’t even print it.
I remember your profile sharply illuminated
by the surgical spot-light above your head
a thin band of white running past your closed eyes
into that newly-grown beard.
I remember all the journo excuses-
the bright light
we were shining
on a dark corner of the world.
I remember the editor who said people only care
about places they’ve been to on holiday.
And the one who said advertisers won’t buy
page space next to dying people.
I can still see the padded bandage
that held your head and hid the bullet hole.
Blood seeping through the gauze along the threads
at the nape of your neck.
A trickle coagulated on your ear.
The smell of a butcher’s shop on a hot day.
I remember struggling with my exposure,
metering for your bright face
and eliminating the emergency room with my aperture.
Listening to the clicking of our cameras
and the moaning of the legless man
on the gurney next to you.
the doctor said.
Yes, I remember you,
the first man
I watched die,
but I don’t remember your name.
Anastasia Taylor-Lind is an English/Swedish journalist (b.1981) who has been working for leading editorial publications all over the world on issues relating to women, population and war for a decade. Anastasia’s work has been exhibited internationally, in spaces such as The Saatchi Gallery, The Frontline Club, and The National Portrait Gallery in London, SIDE gallery in Newcastle, Fovea Exhibitions in New York, Pikto Gallery in Toronto and The New Mexico Museum of Modern Art in Santa Fe. Her first book MAIDAN – Portraits from the Black Square, which documents the 2014 Ukrainian uprising in Kiev, was published by GOST books the same year. The Devil's Horsemen came out in 2018.