I cross the crowded streets, my mind congested with thoughts,
get startled by myriads of complacent looks
that are painted on faces like gilded books.
The topography of miens remains intact.
An imbecile look adheres like a mask,
unruffled by grief, privations, and crime.
A smile trickles from each flaccid mouth,
too sugary for viewers with embittered hearts
who lost their wholeness to a ravishing war.
Susie Gharib is a graduate of the University of Strathclyde with a Ph.D. on the work of D.H. Lawrence. Her poetry and fiction have appeared in multiple venues including Adelaide Literary Magazine, Green Hills Literary Lantern, A New Ulster, Crossways, The Curlew, The Pennsylvania Literary Journal, The Ink Pantry, Mad Swirl, Miller’s Pond Poetry Magazine, and Down in the Dirt.