midday sun melts
like silk in thin limestone crevices

squint between
the folds of your
protect yourself

from the sand,
military presence
hidden in desert hills

destruction in the

a warm breeze
brings home the faint smell
of gold


steeped dark like
kinks in your morning hair
dried, savory spice
crack between your teeth
bitter only to the inexperienced
tongue, English does not yet come easy
twenty years later and still
cardamom tea unmistakeably
tastes like home

– a song for Iraq