Falling of Nineveh
mother of god’s grandeur, birthing kingdoms, and oozing oil: crushed
in the land where Mosul will lay, and where palace vessels burn again.
women of the former sacred court, wrapped in charcoal
and scarlet coats, watching from their high desert dais,
weep in halftones and crumble on stone steps.
a silent kingdom. another stolen Nineveh burning.
defined by men who: beat their bronze-plated chests
and gnash their metal teeth in former graveyards.
for twenty thousand lines, the court jester praised her obedience
as a virtue or choice. call her mother. call her queen, forgotten.
praise liberation invading. praise motherhood long-suffering.
Nineveh begets Nineveh reduced. unfair parable of ash.
columns no longer clutching the notched relief
of outstretched wings and benevolent airstrikes.
applaud Mesopotamia united. applaud motherhood sacrificial.
from barren steps and ruined Mosul. and a full moon reminding.
James Galliher is a writer living in northern Alabama with their wife and two cats. James is currently a graduate student and English teacher at the University of Alabama of Huntsville. They spend their spare time writing poetry and scouring used bookstores for weird, old books.
The Ekphrastic Review
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