IT WAS KABUL AND IT WASN’T KABUL

There was a clock and there wasn’t a clock.
These discrepancies, perceptible

only to the astute viewer,
are meant to obscure the true venue.  

There’s no question the image
has been manipulated.

How many men in one room
can claim relation to a founding father?  

The answer is how many olives
I can fit in my mouth.

That’s how many presidents
I can fit in a basement

after how they looked at me.
Imagine starting a fight

with someone’s extended family
drawing a clean line around the surname.

Then imagine saying hold it,
let’s not get carried away.

Imagine not knowing how to stop.
I can fit this whole war inside my mouth.  

 

Liam Powell is a writer living in Brooklyn. A semi-finalist for the 2017 Boston Review Discovery prize, his work has been featured in Fields, Maggy, Stretch, and elsewhere. He is former poetry editor of Columbia: A Journal.

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