“My son died yesterday,” Om Ahmed sobs.

“Now I have nothing left to say to the world.”


Two fewer warblers on Aleppo’s olive limbs,

two fewer leafy trees for them to nest in.


Two feet closer the assassins to thy laugh

and final bombs to potent bursting heights.

Tom Riordan lives in New Jersey. He’s a retired restaurant worker and teacher, and dreams about becoming pope for his next career.

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