KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 1: Fall 2014
Poem: 155 words

Ghazal (3)

by Christopher Merrill
A picnic in a valley, in Kurdistan,
And students writing praise songs to Kurdistan.

A mother calls her children angled livers,
And dark-eyed Evin means love in Kurdistan.

A plague of vipers side-winding toward admissions
At the University of Kurdistan.

The magpie flies, at daybreak, along the river,
Over the red poppies of Kurdistan.

Oilmen and engineers, police and militias,
Converge on the capital of Kurdistan.

I free your neck, a father tells his son
At nightfall. All’s forgiven in Kurdistan.

What lies between a nation and a country?
Ask the blind tea-seller in Kurdistan.

Today they bombed markets and mosques in Baghdad,
Falluja, and Ramadi. Spared Kurdistan.

Nor did I want my life to end that night
Driving through the mountains of Kurdistan.

Thistles, and hollyhocks, and river willows—
And then the call of a bird native to Kurdistan!

This river will run dry before the pasha
Lets Christopher return to Kurdistan.

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