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  • They invade. Time passes.

    Expediency, elections. Time passes.

    Nine years. Time passes.

    And yet separate and apart, we have such tenderness for time. For time's faces.

    What is this love we have for the very passage of time? It coils around us like a snake, it presses in upon our solar plexus. Who existed, who died? Oddly, all this seems apart from who invaded. Because time passes the way people pass, time passes on, and we are redeemed by past sweetness.

    The girls who danced for us, after Mosul. Who asked them to dance, were they ordered? Time itself will not be waterboarded, time is elusive, time is a spy, time is covert inside us, time tells us stories in our gut. Time stays our hand, time keeps the gun inside, time makes us steady, time is as aloof as a Zen moment, time exists as a form of courage.

    Sweet, and then the ruins.

    What was on the girls' minds? The mountains, the oil, the missiles, the dance? One mind--the girls we all were once. We ran in packs, one wild mind.

    But these beauties, more beauties of Iraq, we met them at Nineveh, but it might have been Nimrud, and I ask again, Where are they now? And was time kind to them?

    Where are these further beauties of that Iran-Iraq wartime?

    What say these women now? Did they live to see that regional war become an international invasion?

    What do they speak and remember, and not speak with their eventful deep brown eyes?

    What do they say about the day they wore red, and danced for the strangers, under the mountains?

    Sweet in the ruins of palaces. And time passes.
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