Gronzy

The girl who invited me
to live in her tent camp
so she could teach me Chechen

sat staring in the corner,
fearing that any motion
might trigger an explosion.

Grozny’s flats were levelled.
Dolls lay disembowelled on the floor.
Glass shards covered the earth.

The road’s yellow ribbon rolled
like a carpet, limning the edge
of my escape to Vladikavkaz.

Memories

Memories by Kathleen O’Neil
This translucent organza covers my skin like snow;
the innermost part of me is burning away. It just smolders. Oxygen, the air, it’s everywhere. The cold poison will seep down through soft delicate shoulder, under the left collarbone edge through bone and the shield of muscle.