• Vol. 08
  • Chapter 03


Aleppo sunrise fills my skull,
Strokes my face,
Fires the mosque’s bald pate,
Calls me back.

Back to my patients,
Their coughs and tears,
Their clasping hands
And offered gifts.

To the souk
And the rivers of bodies,
Swaying, stopping,
Eyes and hands threading the bargain.

My wife.
Calm as a cloud crossing the sky,
As she shepherds our children
With her smile, her delicate fingers.

And the snapping of snipers,
Roaring of steel birds,
Blam and shudder of bomb
And screams from the blood-thick dust.



From this sun.
The icy breeze slices my skin
Makes the mud stone.
Drains the hope through my sandaled toes.
This sun brings a long day,
Of standing, sitting, standing, sitting.
Of guards’ eyes closed to us.
Mocking mouths casting thorned words.

And the night.
With crowded snores and screams.
Our strange tears
Soaking into their strange pillows.

Aleppo sunset,
Warm these veins,
Outblaze these memories,
Cradle this heart.