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Poetry: Alex Chambers

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Arafat Returns by Alex Chambers

The Middle East as a pair of pants, undone.

Coming in third on Arabian Poet we have

Woman in Burka Who Has a Name. A plan

for pants undone, revealing a sexy Jewish

midriff dancing on the ship of state.

Marauders are so hungry, bless their hearts.

Plato’s ventriloquist said the city was only

for pretend after we got all charged-

up about sharing around our breastmilk.

Yes, certainly we did—those beautiful boys

in full bloom fingering their AK-47s

on Yemen’s Poetry Hour. Being a model

city, Jerusalem has no need for a zipper

on its fly. It exists only in the minds of Lego

store designers. “Look, Daddy, look

at all the little colonies. Can I have one?

I want I want!” Being on a budget

we bought an I ♥ Israel shirt instead.

Certainly we could see some panties, but

if you explain sexiness to children early

they’re less likely to be drunks late. Look

at France. Look at Kabul. It was a classic

American love story, the taciturn loner

riding in and shooting blanks all over

the place. Only some of them weren’t

blanks. Only some of it wasn’t love

All rights reserved to Alex Chambers

Originally published in Paper Darts Volume Three

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