Hello Mosul

(I am sad, your face has changed. I don’t know why, but I miss you, and sometimes I wake
with a howling sternum and for one waking second I still think we’re going back. My friends
in the dream are always eager, and then they see me, they see the drooping sad man I’ve become. I try to feign courage, but I’m transparent. They scowl at me, my fear. I am nothing if not fear
remembering close calls in stairwells and the blanked faces of the people I was told to scorn.)

              Seven stories at least, with twelve
shades of concrete. My hand knew
Death, somewhere in the middle
of this tower, as I touched an exposed
wire thinking it was a sniper or an IED.
I didn’t die though, but saw the city instead,
from morgue to smoldering trash heaps,
then descended the wobbling metal stairs
covered in lime and ghost dander.

Buildings only lie down once.




TJ Reynolds writes poetry and fiction in Long Beach, CA for the vain and hopeful purpose of changing the world. He dislikes war, squabbling or even extensive horse-play. One day, TJ assumes, this will seem prudent and even kind to his three small children.

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