Archive for the ‘Iraq’ Category

The mouth last seen.


Last seen at dawn.

I wandered by the river until dawn, trying to remember something I’d forgotten. I misplaced my slippers somewhere by the mouth of the Euphrates. This is what they look like.


Mouth of the Euphrates, purportedly.

Loose symmetries are created at the mouth of this river: the remains of my slumber, evidence of foodstuff, and the probability of a swim. The mouth is pushed further into the body. The body disappears.


Interior at the inn.

Something like symmetry: you can see it if you look at your mouth stretched open along the dusty reflection of a vanity mirror. Inside and outside your mouth, two women begin unloading their belongings, preparing for a 2-month stay at a riverside inn. You are the river.


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Water must have flowed from this fountain at one time, but it’s not my concern.  


Beyond what was once the tub of plenty: wreckage of love.  
I am headed there because although in ruins, desire is rumored to trickle down those hollow columns.


I make a wide detour so I can approach the Ministry of Poverty from the front.  


An announcement from one of the three towers: this is your mother’s love, your national department of finance, and the kiss from an unknown lover — all rolled into one. Scavenged tarps shield you from elemental misery — enough for you to make a fire, fill your stomach from a tin, recline your body for sleep.

Indeed love does live here.


The sun disappears. I walk back to the encircling compound. This is dystopia, presented by modern photographic media. But if you desire, if you care to look, you can find the tender prospect of love in any picture.

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We slow down our racing hearts: to survive longer in this misery.
Lovers of all stripes decree.








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A young girl runs to deliver a love letter amid the debris of a bombed market.


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Young woman dressed as a man.



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As promised.

I have attached pictures of the house: receiving room, bedroom, kitchen. I spend most of my time outdoors since I cannot bear the emptiness inside these walls.  

As promised, if you visit you will always have a place to rest your head.  Although there is difficulty in such a proposition:  the flight in, the check points, the intermittent house raids. You are much too sensitive for this military state.

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I announce that I am there.  I make a few adjustments; sweep the unsightly into the shadows, move unlikely objects from view.  I even alter the mother of all symbols to coincide with the one I saw as a child.  I claim no feeling for it, only for the droop of its swag. 

I brush the plaque from my teeth and comb the lint from my hair.  I hold a glass of water in my hand as I head in.

The animal makes its presence known, bellows as I walk by.

And the uncertain maw — it seems to contract.  I crawl into its womb with hopes for a peaceful sleep and an eventual return to consciousness. 




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