Words Die

Grieving Syrian man and injured girl

‘Rational’ disintegrated

when security forces opened fire

on demonstrators

The word ‘school’

existed for awhile

in a basement

but it was eventually obliterated

‘Safe’ died on the lips

of the first piercing scream

of the raped

‘Home’ crumpled

into a dishevelled

pile of stone

and mortar dust

‘Daughter,’ a limp noun

in my arms,

‘Mother,’ a hole

detonated in my heart

‘Death toll’ is no longer definable

Mouths filled with other words

‘hunger,’ ‘thirst,’ pain,’ ‘cold,’

‘terror’ bounces off bullet-pocked walls

‘Flee’ the verb

that lifts one foot

and then the other;

‘trek’ to the only word

worth dreaming,

‘free’

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