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Monday, April 10, 2017


by Alejandro Escudé

Volunteers wear protective gear during a class of how to respond to a chemical attack, in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo on September 15, 2013.JM LOPEZ/AFP/GETTY IMAGES via Wired.

The mood is sarin and the light is sarin
there are sarin children dancing in the air
convulsing skyward, there are sarin trees
and sarin ships firing sarin missiles
at sarin airports where sarin helicopters
sit ready to traverse sarin lands, over sarin
rooftops, blanketing a country of sarin,
a language of sarin, the sarin of resorts
where the leaders of sarin meet to discuss
treaties over sarin and ice cream. But one
needs two chemicals to form sarin, and sarin
lasts a short time, sarin is short as life itself,
meaningless really, unless it is packaged
just right; still, a world without sarin is a world
flooded in sarin, with sarin dreams like those
of the sarin children who felt it rain down
on them and saw their fingers turn to roads,
their lungs become mountains, their hearts
pumping sarin into their sarin souls.

Alejandro Escudé published his first full-length collection of poems My Earthbound Eye in September 2013. He holds a master’s degree in creative writing from UC Davis and teaches high school English. Originally from Argentina, Alejandro lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two children.