July 16, 2016

gunshots, jets, and bombs

you hear one or the other

or altogether

tonight you hear them all

you listen to the screams and the cries for help,

the sound of silence blends with sounds of pain

until you can no longer tell the difference between the two

you listen to the screams and cries of the sky

lit with not the shining sun

or the glistening moon

but with brilliant explosions

interrupting the intimacy of late night conversations

and the calm of sleep


you shake with fear, not sure what to do

your thoughts scattered, questions rattling, buzzing

separated from your family by ominous waves

what did you last say to her?

did you fight? did you laugh?

was it enough?

what will be her last memory with you?


gunfire approaches closer, louder than tumultuous waves

causing you to scream “Sayat”

he says to move away from the windows

he says to run

he says to hide


you find yourself clutching Sayat in the bathtub

wondering if they swam in the neighbor’s pool this afternoon

or if they ate dinner in the backyard

wondering if she’s thought of you today

wondering if your family even knows that something has happened

wondering if you’ll survive