In the midst of a war torn nation
leaves emerge below the Vakhan strip like
mangled bodies of faceless men:
We are soldiers.
They are Taliban.
We are the snow that falls
on the Towr Mountains, the
lavish pine trees and
cool scents of fresh green that mingles
with the frozen breath of angels.
They are the rain that falls in the valley below,
the sun that awakens the land,
the blackcurrant shadows that penetrate fresh air.
Their children are borne from small stones that lay atop a dusty hill.
Torn clothes clutch frantically to makeshift poles.
Lonely cries tremble in the wind.
Souls bleed into the Panjsher River.
There is peace.
They are the noble snow leopards hiding behind frosty rocks.
Sensing warm blood and nourishing pulp,
they wait patiently for the agali of the Hindu Kush.
Moon rays drip on dark rosettes of steady strength.
We are the jackal surrounding bleeding
mountains of carrion.
We are the red fluid changing untainted snow
into a watercourse of red crimson.
All of us form the balance of the Tiger.
and orange-gold refreshes
the waters of the Amu.
Changing days and
dark shadows ripple
across straw-colored streams.
Their spirits become our spirits,
wasting away like of crushed bone.
Death is routine.
We are soldiers. We shoot their children.
They are Taliban. They plant bombs in their chest.
There is Terror.