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Michael Bradburn-Ruster – United States
It was quite amazing to hear their son-in-law capturing every inflection of Depardieu’s voice; if you closed your eyes for a moment (as Lenore’s mother had done, sitting in the old burgundy wingchair) you would have thought that exuberant bear of a man was taking up the whole room, only to discover with surprise the unassuming, compact figure with its dusky oval face.
Marc Brenman – United States
The driver thought of the shotgun under his seat, and calculated whether he could shoot the dog before it grabbed him by the throat. Every time he made this run, once a week for what, three years now, he made this calculation. One day he would take the gamble, and maybe win. Then he would shoot the shepherd. Then the authorities would hang him. No, perhaps today was not the day.
Driving the Jinns Away
Rafiq Ebrahim – United States
I was watching Aalim Online, when I heard a deep, heavy voice saying, “Allah” at the door. I thought Sabri Qawwal had paid a visit, but Uncle Yusuf, before opening the door, briefed me that Bawa Sai had arrived and that I must kiss his hand in respect, because he was an enlightened soul, helping people in distress, and it was he who was going to dispel a big jinn who had made Uncle’s house his abode.
Meditation on Travel
Kate Colette – United States
Here’s the low-equatorial bright that ripples like white Cetus stars on the surface of water. The white glimmer that resembles coins. Then the navy channel; all day dhow boats named Salwah, Ashid, Angela, drift slow in a canvas line, head east toward a slit that opens into the Indian Ocean and a great azure sky. The sun gleams white, bends into the small Kenyan island, Lamu.
Thieves of Baghdad
J.S. Absher – United States
For their lovers, they swipe rose-water
of Mosul and filch cramoisy roses
from the souk.
Swimming with Sharks in Mogadishu
Timothy Charles Anderson – Canada
Liban, come! My mother took my arm,
Put her tongue tip out, and licked my skin.
Krystina Derrickson – Qatar
We shall not be wronged.
Anther, embryo, seed,
women in the rough state, the wayfarer passing ...
Here and There
M.A.R. Habib – United States
Your every absence is a presence of death:
I know the life that will come without you.
Each time you go away, for a minute or a day,