We left Fallujah as half of Fallujah was fleeing too – everyone hefting canned goods, bananas, Pepsi, and prescriptions in packed book bags with only enough room for one book. I brought my laptop. I brought a knife and a toothbrush. Khalil brought whatever he was wearing at the time.
We had no choice.
Our city will suffer for the men who were lynched. Their charred forms hung torn and naked from the bridge.
Now black skies burp fire and the water boils poisonous. Boot heels collapse the necks of doorknobs. Men go and go missing.
Now we go – follow the river.
This piece is a selection from Justin's book MLKNG SCKLS, which collects deleted sections of a longer novel about the war in Iraq, Falcons on the Floor, forthcoming from PG in summer 2011. Sirois lives in Baltimore where, with Haneen Alshujairy, he founded The Understanding Campaign.
November 2010 marks four years of PGP, and Everyday Genius is marking the occasion all month by publishing work from its archives as well as IsReads, Chapbook Genius and excerpts from some of PGP's books.