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Sunday, May 19, 2013


by Rick Gray

I don’t care if it’s fake.
Today I abandon all that is pure
In my highly-secured space
And race up to the sunlight blazing
On my Kabul roof to praise        
Aesha's new nose.

May it reach forever
like the stem of this artificial flower

I raise above the frozen mountaintops
Where cold, clipping blades are rusting
in the melting fragrance
of a true, blooming rose.     

Rick Gray served in the Peace Corps in Kenya and currently teaches at the American University of Afghanistan in Kabul. He was a finalist for the Editor's Award at Margie, and has an essay that will be appearing in the forthcoming book, Neither Here Nor There: An Anthology of Reverse Culture Shock.