Excerpts from “The Old Veteran”

This poem is part of our spring issue's "Rising Poets of Iraq" dossier, edited by Alana Marie Levinson-LaBrosse.

The river decays under the dictator, Time. Green palm leaves cast their shadows over the abandoned ships. The silver shadow moon illuminates the bronze rust.

I wonder as I look at the river. Does he remember his first corpse? The first man who sank bullet-wounded into his core? I would ask Karoon, if it had ever spoken. I don’t want to be the first to be answered.

River Karoon looked at me, in despair, and moved his lips.



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