it doesn’t cut – the port
in the picture, leaning
on a shirt under the bed,
or the ticket stubs
on the walls (old dates,)
the photos of gifts
from better people.

more than one face
brought that old grief,
the past can’t bleed
unless it’s all you know.

“God’s Gift”

They said of then that the rivers ran black,
a wave of ink and blood feeding on words
flowing from scrolls old and unprotected.
The heart of a world burnt in acrid
smoke and let die. It was named with a smile,
with free hands raised up to the sky; ‘God’s Gift.’
What is it now? Little more than the past
long past. A prime long forgotten, fallen
into ancient history. Did they know
the wrong they did? The pain they wrought the the world
when the took and broke the jewel of Baghdad?