Innocence walks the small deserted streets,
gashed gray ruins, a random wandering orphan.
The clock in the square has no hands.
Rats at the end of the alleys eat their dead,
the grind of their teeth in the flesh
the only interruption in the humid afternoon silence.
No more drive-by, no carts full of plague
long gone to shallow graves and cried over,
not the car bombings, no Jihad,
only crippled insurgents, limbless occupiers,
and in the quiet brick and limestone,
in the trash, the mud and slime,
everything quietly waits for the nocturnal,
the gutters to run clear and shadows begin to crawl
as Innocence tries again to sneak in, to root,
to find an infant footing.