The Birds of Afghanistan – Ryan Quinn Flanagan


Saw that in Afghanistan
they have these bird bazaars
where they string up an assortment
of dead birds: ducks, cranes, pheasants
and the like
and let them bleed out
on the pavement.
It’s a funny place, that Afghanistan,
always fending off invaders
and trafficking heroin.
The years have warped them, I guess,
turned them a little queer;
like a dog left out in the rain
that grows a little squirrely
and runs in circles
growling at its own

I hardly blame Afghanistan
just as I hardly blame
the dog.

Hell, we all grow a little off
enduring the daily grind,
no crime there,
but those bird bazaars
are something else.
They say they’ve killed so many birds
that the migratory patterns are changing.

The birds are no longer coming to Afghanistan.
The invading armies, they keep coming.
Maybe if they killed them
and opened a bazaar.

It worked for the birds.
It’s a funny place, that Afghanistan.

Ryan Quinn Flanagan
is a Canadian-born author residing in Elliot Lake, Ontario, Canada with his other half and mounds of snow.  His work can be found both in print and online in such places as: Evergreen Review, The New York Quarterly, Word Riot, In Between Hangovers, Red Fez, Your One Phone Call, Horror Sleaze Trash, and The Oklahoma Review.


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