Aleppo

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Everything is dying: the cats,the  dogs --- the people. Only birds live because they have the sky. Where there are entryways, there are stones. Walls are wretched gaping mouths to potential enemy lines. It was a sniper that got my sister and struck my mother, picked them out as they ran with water for the thirsty in their hands. Is this what fate looks like? The bus is on loan from the king of Jordan. He would not send his men, but he would send a bus for the thousands fleeing. I board the bus and take a seat in the middle, in case it blows up at the front or back. My brother Adel is racing down the street. Don’t leave me, he is yelling, his face caked with dirt and blood. He is all I have left. In his hands he holds a bag of bread. Women lay over rubble in their thobes like dead moths. Silence catches its breath between the sting of bombs that hit my heart.

I used to love lamp light; the moon of the studious in university windows overlooking commerce and industry. I used to admire prophet like professors anointing the ignorant with prose of peace. Why do we leave? Because we must, if we wish to put our eyes on the heavens and claim a spot to call our own on this earth. I want to live. I want children to remind me of what happiness and joy sounds like because in these wars, we are robbed of everything, but hope.

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