Poems

We are the Iraqis

The American soldiers in the helicopter throw leaflets with inked arms onto our sleeping women on the rooftops

We are the Iraqis

Daily at breakfast our mothers dish up sectarianism, we chew it until we consume our mouths

We are the Iraqis

We make iron doors for our houses so we rust behind them

We are the Iraqis

We fire when one of us dies until we kill the other

We are the Iraqis

We fight with the roosters and wipe away our blood

We are the Iraqis

At the checkpoints military dogs rub their noses against our eyes

We are the Iraqis

We plant graves in front of houses

We are the Iraqis

We tumble around the food-aid truck like a string of prayer-beads snapped at a wake

We are the Iraqis

The little coffin unites our shoulders

We are the Iraqis

The same fingers that we collected shot-casings with as children

now count the dead

We are the Iraqis

We don’t bring down the dried heads from park railings

We are the Iraqis

With this soap we wash our hands to eat

and with this same soap we wash our hands of blood

We are the Iraqis

We uproot our rotten years every day

stacked in rows in a mass grave

We are the Iraqis

In the summer we wait for buses under cast concrete like washed shoes

We are the Iraqis

We use weapons as pillows and blanket ourselves in Semtex

We are the Iraqis

A sleeping worm in the apple of the world

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