Lucian C. Mattison

After Mohamad

You lived happily.                   The rocket
struck the wall                         like a hammer of lilies.
Colored cloth                           tied to the barrels
of rifles fluttered                     as if waking the wind
to itself. Night                          shelling was a game
of hide-and-go-seek                in the movie theater
basement, and the                   next day, they
mourned the found                 with pictures of
their unfound faces,                a parade of opposition
colors, more                              banners and songs
to buoy the air.                         Many left, you
among them,                             to live absent
of conditioned fear,                 a parallel life.
Makdissi continued                 to follow Hamra,
demonstrations                         ushered the trucks
of soldiers—emptied                and filled like beer
glasses on the bar.                    Nationalist of the present
tense, blinded                            augur, you wish
for nothing more                      than the chance
to draw lines                              around happiness
again: bouquet                          of childhood, petals
like ticker tape,                         wind carrying you
like prayers                                to a neighbor’s window.


Mary Liza Hartong
Ruby Slippery

The scarecrow wants a brain.
The tin man wants a heart.
The witch just wants a pair of shoes
which, if you ask me, only proves
that women are not frivolous
but learn to want less from the start.