Volume 26, Number 2


After the war, archaeology sets in.

Guarded journalists study the ruins
in a mother's face, a child's aging eyes.
Men burn young trees for charcoal,
rise up against women
because women deliver lifeblood,
which men spill in the streets,
calling it religion. They will rid the world
of lust, fertility, and eating in peace.

There is a market for the killing trades,
for the craft of explosives,
an art form recognized by God.
There is a market for soldiers.
The market for forests and food grows spare,
and the end is a tearing apart,
leaving a mosque of rubble
where no one prays,
and archaeologists to comb
through the afterlife,
looking for a future.

—Siham Karami