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This poem is taken from PN Review 126, Volume 25 Number 4, March - April 1999.

Twenty-Five Laments for Iraq Robert Minhinnick

The muzzein voices break the night
Telling us of what we are composed:
Coffee grits; a transparency of sugar;
The ghost of the cardomom in the cup's mosque.

*

These soldiers will not marry.
They are wed already
To the daughters of uranium.

*

Sherazade sits
In heat and dust
Watching her bucket fill.
This is the first story.

*

Before hunger
                  Thirst.
Before prayer
                  Thirst.
Before money
                  Thirst.
...


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