Baghdad

He keeps on touching her against the wall

beneath crucifix and candle, as blue silk

of the shade catches wick flaring white.

 

The red stub gutters. He’s a waxy paraphrase.

At the edge of himself what he meets

is uncannily familiar, his plausible fiction.

 

The fire’s light astride them—about, above, around—

he shifts her leg, her foot, off the ground.

The farther back she moves the further he swings.

 

***

Mary Gilliland is an internationally published poet and recipient of numerous awards including Stanley Kunitz Fellowship at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Cornell University Council for the Arts Faculty Grant, BBC Wildlife Magazine Poet of the year Award for Nature Poetry, featured poet at the Al Jazeera International Film Festival, and recent residency at MASS MoCA.

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