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The End of the Story

The End of the Story


My Pittsburgh neighborhood of Aleppo

Is dying

The last reports are terrors

Military action lost strategically

To killing

Civilians who lived there only

Or came to help the ones already wounded


Final words are spoken through

Electrons, visiting upon the world

The revulsion of the void

Of life, which is all that is

Increasing here


Wait, my mistake, it’s Aleppo

In Syria

The first city

Still dying, still dead

Still a message to those of us

Who read and pray

And politic and must go on


The last Marx brother

In a raucous comedy turned horror story


Convicted, we establish

A new front for life

In places we might own for

A while longer


Otherwise, there might be nothing

All around


C L Couch


Our Many Faces

Our Many Faces


Aleppo, yes, I know


Sounds like a sixth

Marx brother from




But children die there

From what war takes


Which is all right

Since we don’t value

Children, anyway:


If we did, we’d see

They were not shot

And killed, they never

Suffered in want

Of food or a good



We’d value them like

Prizes won in the

Most precious bingo

Game or ski-ball


We’d sit with them,

We’d watch them eat,

See that they are

Clean inside and out


And have temerity

To ask for help when



We’d celebrate the

Family that we are

Part of, even if we’re

Not their parents


Because in the most

Worldly way we are


We’d say, it’s for the

Children; and we’d

Mean it


We’d change

Everything to have

Them safe and well

And jiggly playful at



We’d do the world

Right this time


C L Couch




It kills our people

We cannot breathe

And when we do

Oxygen is poison

We are Aleppo

Please save us from

Your warring efforts

To bring peace by

Delivering to us the

Gas bombs first



Mustard gas from the First World War.  Dissolving lung tissue.  There are reasons—compelling decent reasons—for not using these.  When we do, we surrender all humanity.  Starting with ours.

Aleppo, Pennsylvania

Aleppo, Pennsylvania


Neighborhood is

Near three rivers


Reminding us that

Syria, native or

Immigrant (like the

Rest of ours), has


Been America for

A long, long time

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