East Timor, September 1999

Olivia McMahon

How can we sit eating here
on this boat bound for Rotterdam,
being served by an Indonesian waiter in his uniform
of white shirt and bright blue waistcoat
and say nothing
while in his country other men in uniform
are killing torturing raping?

I'm sorry about what's happening in your country
the words form on my breath.
Is everything all right? he asks,
and I say Yes.