The Ghosts of Tal'Afar

From behind my shades my eyes
Scan the crowd. I hear them talking
But don’t understand it. The market
Is packed and this is a ripe target,
I say to myself. That man with
The mustache has stood there too
Long. That guy there is digging
Through his pockets a little nervously
Why is that stand missing a vendor?
I don’t care for the way the
Children run, their movements
Are far too unpredictable and erratic
That mustached man is still…
Is he staring at me? I lean forward
And strain for a better view
Brow furloughed, knuckles white
From clenched hands… “Maty? Where
Are you, bro?” Concentration breaks
“Did you hear what he said?” It’s brunch
Now. Downtown with Tommy and Derek
“Did you hear what Tommy asked you?”
My heart continues to flutter.
No. Can we pay our tab
And leave, please

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