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Monday, December 20, 2021


by Michaela Mayer

if you slip through the thin curtain between 
this world and another, you will see him:
Ahmadi lifting jugs of clean water to the lips
of children gulping thirstily in the Afghan
heat. not standard procedure, but then,
these things are allowed those blown to bits
by American payload. or so I like to imagine.
the real Ahmadi is red mist and sharp shards
of bone on the tarmac in Kabul, and the children
too. all we get of them are a few dark pixels
on our news sites. meanwhile, the men
whose game condemned them lean back,
hands behind heads, and acquit themselves:
a righteous strike. pay the families a few 
dollars for their grief. slaps on the back,
handshakes. America, our carnivorous country, 
feeds on remains—flesh hanging from
its ghastly mouth, and us behind our screens,
gaping at scraps wedged in its teeth—our minds
slipping back and forth between the two worlds.

Michaela Mayer (she/her) is a 26-year-old elementary school teacher and poet from Virginia. Her works have been previously published in Feral, Barren Magazine, Perhappened, Claw & Blossom, and others. She has forthcoming poems with Olit, Monstering Mag, MAYDAY, and The Lickety~Split, and can be found on Twitter@mswannmayer5.