| Daniel Wilcox
A masked gunman in black stands
on a smoky street corner in Baghdad.
Palms rear up along the guttered street
with green branches in the background
like hands to Allah.
His left rubber sandal is ripped,
red spots dribbled on the blue plastic;
One hooded jihadist--
23 separate armies rule the smudged smog of 6 million.
The Euphrates and Tigris rivers sheen
like the blades of historic scissors
The threat of the cutting,
the bleeding of a people.
A Kalashnikov rifle fingered in his raised hands;
On the ground prone,
ready a rocket-propelled grenade launcher.
Most of the streets are desert;
it's Friday the day of worship,
God is Great!
A wretched Toyota, bombed metal, wrenched and contorted
in front of him
Empty of its bodies, idols of the fly
The month of ultimate submission to Allah
and the Mahdi Army fasts
from sweets and melted cheese
and roams the streets hungering for infidels and Sunnis.
Down a trash-strewn alley
behind the mosque blindfolded bodies
Lay prone in endless prayer
red circles in their temples.