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Noor Jul 2015
Storm clouds raged across the sky and the silver sea boiled in the wind.
The great green fin of La Isla de Tiburon cut the water,
Mysterious, so painfully close, yet dangerously distant.
Monsters swam the gap and past waist deep the ocean had a lethal tug.

All morning we (father, big brother, little sister, and me) hunted in the sand for clams and later boiled them in a sardine can.
Dad ran along the shoreline and into the waves wearing yellow trunks, hunting with a sharpened stick.
Dad, the Wildman —hairy and shirtless—ran for our entertainment into the surf and whooped when a skate flapped pitifully at the end of his spear.
My brother kicked a trio of *****, fishermen's gifts, kept them from scuttling back into sea, and leaped over them for fun.

Sardines on saltines tided us over as the main course—crab, clam and skate—cooked on burning drift wood.
We children watched in drooling anticipation as a claw, wreathed in flame rose in agonized supplication
then collapsed back into embers to cook.  Froth bubbled out alien mouths and black stalk eyes.
Roasted alive seems an awful fate, but, oh, how delicious the meat!

Later, by lantern light my sister read her book over the protests of a gathering wind that scratched at our tent all night.
The sand spat out the tent stakes, but the poles held firm and our weight held our shelter down.
Never before and never again
I live here in my dreams.
Noor May 2015
I play in the mud beneath the window sill
Eat corn on the cob at a plastic child’s table
Mother takes pictures for posterity, smiles until

The child I was is dead, may he rot well
Too naïve to live, too weak to survive this hell

The backyard latch is opened with a rake
And I escape into the desert wilderness
To find castles, dragons, and a princess

Through the haze of rage I know to be as lethal as I would need to be
To **** the guilty would instead guarantee innocent casualties
But I’m looking into your eyes as you watch my brothers die

After the man’s blood and meat were hosed off the street
The pink froth went down a grate

You, my love
Have lied to me
Denied to me
My mercenary consolation prize
And legally stole my home

Pain comes in waves of light
Brightly colored from the left
Strips words of meaning, leaves only

Blood on feet…what a beautiful color
I’m ******
Noor Apr 2015
On the first trip so far from home
With other trapped brothers.  We ******* and moaned
About the bad food, the sand, and the sun.
Bored, we counted the days until we were done.

On the second tour off to war
We saw the world raw as never before.
In flashes, smoke, and blood our old selves died.
In raging hate and grief I never cried.

On the third time away from here I found
A healing place were rockets shook the ground.
Brothers drove to work, and flew back to die.
In raging hate and grief I never cried.

The last time I stepped on the plane
I knew then my true home, but I might never be here again.
Noor Feb 2015
Invisible, I stand in the middle of the road.
Frozen in place. Frozen in thought.  I have misplaced all sounds.
Soldiers pull their bleeding brother out an RG-33 vehicle in a flowing current of hands and fingers.
gentle, urgent
They hand him off to a swarm of medics then collapse into a grieving cloud of cigarette smoke.
The pants and boots—especially the boots—are coated thick with blood
so fresh and bright.
My mind defrosts,gathers a voice to shatter the silence
What a beautiful color
Noor Jun 2014
How are mortar fire and flag-draped caskets more of a balm
Than the pharmacy of drugs they tried to put me on?
Must be the company.

I felt more at home in a war zone
than that place my family's from.
More inner-peace an hour after a bullet whistled passed
than years after in callous curiosity I was asked
"Have you killed anyone?"
In church.  
By an adult that knew me as a child.
Go to Hell.
And f**k yourself.

Twenty-two suicides a day
is just the price to pay
for cheap goods and ****** internet.
Noor May 2014
Our blood was too precious for them
"Take my blood," I said," A positive."  
"I can't," said the medic, "you're American.
He's Polish."

We attended all the final farewells.
The dirge was in helicopter whirls.
The Poles wouldn't bother coming to ours.
We held them at the most inconvenient hours.
You know, in the night, in the dark--like theirs.

An unlucky Polock who stepped on a mine
(ironically this might have saved 3 other lives)
contained in him the same shade of red
and judging by the mess, he was the same shade of dead
as ours.
I found his boot--it had been blown off and away.  We wore the same brand.
Noor May 2014
He was alone
Far from home
Isolated by bullets
As he bled on sand and stone

The explosion triggering the attack
Crushed the vertebrae in a brother's back
A bullet tore through another's arm
The wound left a prominent scar

Through the radio chatter the lone voice of the isolated soldier:
"I've been shot...and it's bad."

Upon reaching the fallen, the medic knew from ****** experience
That his friend was a living corpse, dying is a process
And though the medic prayed he was wrong
He wasn't

Next week, next firefight
Their blood paid for our blood
Pray it meant something in the end
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