Headstone (On the first day of the Kabul evacuation)

 

Where do you start after twenty years of blood?

A thousand miles from the origins,

On a blank page like a tombstone awaiting the chisel.

The names have all been carved in stone and flesh,

 

They are burned in the memories of orphans and widows.

Some even breathe tonight that will be gone tomorrow.

Messages of love are punched on keyboards,

Anger is raging yet resigned to the calm of inevitable deliverance.

 

That brief sublime before the bullet hits the skull and in comes peace.

I see their faces smiling and grimacing alike,

I hear their laughter, their joy at being alive in troubled times.

I reach out into the night that takes us all, and imagine hope.

 

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