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Tuesday, July 18, 2006


by John Grey

It's a warm dry morning
hours before the first car explodes.

A woman pushes an empty cart,
stops to admire the few goods in a shop window.

A stray dog paws a garbage can.
An old man stands at his second floor window and yawns.

A child pokes his head out of a doorway
but a mother drags him back.

A television truck rolls by
ahead of the street cleaner.

A coffee shop is opening its doors.
It sells a selection of the dark brews that the soldiers like.

The market sellers unpack tents.
A young man hauls oranges in a sack.

It all looks like the world I know,
the one that goes on without interruption.

But in a back street hovel,
a true believer arms himself with prayer and powder.

By midday, he'll be ten thousand scattered pieces,
a splatter of everybody's blood, a jumble of hate and body parts

and martyrdom, on the way to heaven.
He'll leave it to God to sort it out.

John Grey's latest book is What Else Is There from Main Street Rag. He has been published recently in Agni, Hubbub, South Carolina Review and The Journal Of The American Medical Association.