“We pretend the storms have come early / We pretend we can’t hear the bombs in the distance / We pretend that everything is normal”
We pretend the storms have come early
We pretend we can’t hear the bombs in the distance
We pretend that everything is normal
As I zoom downtown on my orange vespa,
Unaware of the fact that war is drawing closer to home
Unaware of the of the refugees that arrive everyday
Unaware of everything
As I arrive in the bustling market,
sights and sounds enter the atmosphere
Oranges are stacked high in pyramids
Colorful cloth and fabric of every color, hang high above, forming a canopy
Bronze frying pans hang above, clanging in the windy mist
I set up my stall, after many others, hawking baby blankets, textiles, and cloth accessories
People look, but don’t buy
People can barely afford food
At dinner, my friend, James, comes home with an odd idea
“We should go to America, to escape the war.” He says.
“No!” I snap. “America is too far away, and anyways this is our home.”
After a night of fighting, I say, ”Fine, you can go to America, and I will stay here!” I yell.
I wish he was dead.
The next morning, he leaves before dawn, to the circuit factory where he works.
The smoky blast coats the city in a dark, choking dust
The blast came from one of the factories in the city
People zoom over on their mopeds, in search of where the blast came from
Ambulances clog the way, while fire trucks race past
When I arrive at the factory with others,
I realize that it was the factory where James works.
I yell his name again and again. “James! James!” I cry over and over again.
Finally, after waiting for many nerve wracking hours, two men emerge from the lifeless and dusty rubble.
I run over to the stretcher where James is fighting for his life, and he manages to whisper to me, ”Go to America.”
James is dead
My only friend in this world was him and he left me.
I should have never argued with him.
Today, the Communist Party marched in the city
Sleek tanks roared all day.
People knew this was going to happen, but nobody knew when it would happen.
Ever since the circuit factory explosion, many widows banded together and held a protest demanding compensation.
We held posters with the victims’ faces.
We marched through downtown
We march on a road when all of a sudden, tanks block our way from the front.
Then, tanks block our way from behind and soldiers appear.
They open fire.
People run and scream.
We all run in circles, afraid to stop.
The soldiers shout, “This is what you get for protesting!”
Then, something pierced my ankle.
Blood gushed out.
Someone stepped on me. Then another.
I then thought about James and that I would meet him in heaven.
Then, I closed my eyes for the last time.