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.