We gave them all our dreams – the magic carpet, the
Arabian Nights. They used them for
Disney films and brought us their tanks and their snipers.
Hassan, Iraqi poet (February 2016)
Night shimmers along
the Street of Books
flat rooftops that promise relief
crushing heat, disrupted
dream – that magic swirl of hope
chance aligns and fortunes fall from trees,
graspable in blue-tiled mosques
arching passageways – is now consigned to
palms, dry rubble piles.
name was Allah-Din; but magic
obscured these days -- small expectations
with dust. What rises is uncertainty.
alley has gone blind. The nomad moon
First published in What Rough Beast, Aug. 24, 2019