War is me

by Dr. David Mandler

On the third day, all was well.
With a shot of whiskey and
two jelly doughnuts in me,
I was ready to face the world.

Or so I thought.

In reality, the world faced me
in a kind of death stare of
a thousand kristallnachts
echoing in the dumb pages
Of multilingual newspapers
plastered to the sides of
flimsy bodegas in the streets–
and the shapeless howling of
a hundred kids streaming to
school in the morning.

I found myself in a sweaty
chill of indifference.
What’s Syria to me and I to Syria
that I should care at all?
I have a war in my body now
That holds my attention more
than could a thousand Syrias.

A glass of whiskey with antibiotics.
Just as the doctor never prescribed.
I have Syria in my stomach:
no idea who’s shooting whom.

The entire world is inside me.

©David Mandler