Sublime

Sublime, if the gardens in misfortune are taken, they shall be returned

If anyone steal cattle or sheep, or an ass, or a pig or a goat, if it belong to a god or the court. If anyone steal the minor son of another. If break a hole into a house. If the thief has nothing with which to pay …

The girl dreamt a boogey man ate her heart, ate her brain.
Dreamt conquest. Dreamt bombs under the bed. Dreamt goats chasing.
In America she slams the door, misses the bus to school

Old uncle counts his hardship:
knuckles rent from reed or willow – blind book seller had many good books to sell —
hours late for school
Curse Hammurabi! Curse Hammurabi! for this blasted invention,
let his grave be cold.
Principal with ready stick. Memorization, answer quick.
Miles and miles, up dusty streets, up snowy streets, without a donkey to school.

Cousin raised here and cousin still there compare:
What do you want; you have all this food and family around you? I am alone
over here.
What do you want; at least they don’t beat you at school?
“Osama Hussain,” they say, “terrorist. Muslim go home.”

If, in war. If robber or witness. If shepherd lets goats out in field. Usufruct. If captured,
may pay with the field. If the flocks have left pasture. If any man, fell a tree in a garden…

Geranium in the park and overhanging figs. Marbles in the bottom of the book bag.
They walked miles through tanks up the street.
Landmines through the short cut to school.

Foreign Policy In Focus contributor Christi Kramer