There are no more people in Yarmouk, only skeletons with yellow skin.

  — Umm Hassan, Syria, 2014


Maybe, the birds have swallowed all the bullets 

        

and blown up in yellow fumes  

                  reeking of birdsong. 


Maybe, the shrapnel has trailed the birdsong 


                  and followed it to your body.


Maybe, you cupped the gunpowder water


        in your hand, held it close 


and heard the soft crackle of your mother,


beckoning, then slurped every last drop.


Maybe, you’ve been living inside


            the barrel of a gun all this while.


And maybe that is why the only fragrances


you recognize always lead to a bloody 


                rubble, a gunshot home.