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Month: August 2021

As Kabul Falls, I Worry About the Water Table

In the midst of this summer 
of fires and floods,
UN scientists announce
the world will continue 
to warm for 30 years
no matter what we do,
and absent immediate, 
drastic action, 
this trend will intensify
around the time our neighbors’ 
young children have children
of their own.

Three days after 
the report is released 
(and 19 years and 10 months 
after the US invades Afghanistan),
Kandahar falls, and soon 
after that, Kabul,
and then we all remember:
some changes nest for decades 
before they hatch and fly;
like the water deep beneath us—
when will our taps run dry?
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Failed Ghazal

-August 15, 2021

I spent hours last night 
trying to write a ghazal 

that included this line:
unbroken, Umar Khalid’s still in jail,

and also this one:
they aim to break your soul and will in jail. 

‘School teachers’ and ‘freedom fighters’
figured in it,

but I gave up in the end
because it really all came down to this:

They aim to break your soul and will in jail;
unbroken, Umar Khalid’s still in jail.
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