The Aleppo Kids

The Aleppo Kids
“It’s a Tough Decision”

Hind A. F. Khushaim
They say,
“It’s a tough decision but we have to make it”

But we see,
The Aleppo boys in dust caked
caked in hate…caked in death
Caked in earth…caked in tears
Mixed with greed…mixed with fears
Caked and baked

“It’s a tough decision but we have to make it
It’s inhumane
It’s way insane,
That we know

But rest assured that we I’ll make
All the right moans
And the right nods
And the right sighs
and the right tones”

“It is a tough decision, but we have to make it”

And they add,

“It’s a tough decision and you have to lean
against the wall
And take the punch
Thrice a day
It’s a tough decision
and you have to bite
That rubber tongue
Twice a night
Nerves unstrung
That rubber ball
inside your chest
Blocks your lung

But then we leave,

The Aleppo kid…caked in dust
Caked in shock…caked in rust

Then they say,
“It’s a tough decision and He can take it”



How to Prepare a Fish and Kill a Soul

By Hend A. F. K.


Fetch a fresh fish
Slice skin

Cover fish with white stuff
Drain moisture
Drain softness
Drain tears
Drain thought
Drain Brain
No soggy soul
Should remain

Chop head
Off, and tail
If you will

Then Grill, grill till
Crisp, till sharp
Grill, grill till
Edge would cut
Skies would shut
Nerves can’t chill

Grill till grey,
till black
And time forced still


dead fish on mat
Lemons spat on
Now chew flesh
If you wish

His Steps Race Mine

I Am Fine and His Steps Race Mine 
His steps race mine
His strides, his hops would say;
For you, I’d run the fields
I’ll be your shield
I’d pave the way

But I smile at him and say:
I’m fine.

His puzzled gaze inside my maze
A desperate voice is raised
I’ll be the note, the tune, the tone
the thought inside your mind.
What’s wrong?
Let me be your song!

But I stare through him and say:
– I’m fine.
His tender touch, his sweaty palm
upon my arm
His talk, his joke, his sigh would pray:
I’d scare the fears
The crawling tears
His lips beg mine
Let me lead the way;

But I lock my heart and say;

-I’m fine…


(Don’t reject the good because it’s not perfect)

Perfect isn’t beautiful’s equal!
Photos air brushed
Pearled teeth… Vanished creases
Voices hushed!

Perfect isn’t home’s equal!
Houses dust free… Warm free
Human free
No smile touched!

Perfect isn’t good’s equal!
Perfect evil…perfect lies
Dead soul
to the edge pushed!

Perfect isn’t us…isn’t you…isn’t me
Perfect pedigree?
Perfect isn’t God’s wish!

The perfect fall
The prefect wear
The perfect tear
The Perfect care
The Perfect see!

Perfect isn’t Good’s equal!


Despite all my efforts, I still come from a broken place

like China bone it breaks
Bone by bone on my back it breaks
I carry its scattered pieces
on a back that is bent
In the frown on
my face, In a life that’s lent
In the
ع and the خ
In the sounds of my name
That scream, ‘I’m not the same’

Despite all my efforts, I still come from a broken place
Where we all breathe one air
Where we all dream and stare
In space
And the tiny thoughts we maim
And the words of love, we shame
Despite all my efforts, I still come from a broken place.