Young men

With names from Russia, Ethiopia, the Bedouin desert

Killed in defense of their homeland

By invaders moving through earthen tunnels

Shining ebony soldiers

Broad arched Levantine browed fighters

Lithe Maghreb warriors

Blue eyed troops

Names from Leningrad, Bagdad, Teheran



Their parents and grandparents followed a biblical dream

Crossed deserts

Or landed with a suitcase and a foreign language.

To die in Gaza by the gun of teenage assailant

Dmitri. Moshe. Max.

Youths, their eyes illuminated with vision, commitment, pride

No longer rounded up, barefoot, comically draped with a black and white prayer shawl for the amusement of his tormentors, then shot, to fall beside the bodies already fallen

No longer expelled from ancestral homes

Now, surrounded by tanks, and planes, and brothers carrying his nation's ensign

But oh, their faces

Their bare, handsome faces

Sons. Brothers. Husbands. Fathers.

Their faces