The DOW spikes up, banking on
a dwarfish draft of Armageddon gloom.
Our president will speak at five.
No casualty is casual.
It’s hard to match a suit and tie
to splatter of the coming blood.
Ahmed, a driver in Iraq, says:
“This is a miserable life.
We spent it shopping for war
or hiding from bombs.”
He recites his summary
as if his time is finished as a boiled egg.
All eyes red from pressing
night’s extended weight.

Justice spelled so many ways our alphabets
no longer know their proper forms.
Iraqis seal their windows shut as if a roll
of tape will come between the fragile glass
and force of missiles jetting
through the tainted sky.
Stirring the hostile soup.
It seems the only spoon we own,
yet who can watch the broth of freedom
dwindle to a water drop.
Have you ever sat on a fence,
answerless and trembling,
wishing posts were firm mirage?

I swing like heavy pendulums
between the prayer to end this horror
and nightmares of approaching graves.
The writer with no salving words,
no sonnets in a pocketbook.
No talons on the olive branch,
no wings of doves, no angels near
as embassies evacuate, as guns replace
the meetings of our shattered hearts
now beetles under heavy boots.
Philanthropy or wet revenge —
I can’t decide and so I kneel
as quicksand travels to my chin.

*First Published in Ariga

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