It happens so quickly, the men smoking
in the tea shop have only moments
to stub out their Turkish cigarettes.
A mother squeezes her fussing son
against her breast, his whimpering inaudible
beneath the bombs’ sizzle and thud.
Tracers thread the slightly cloudy sky
as scooters and sputtering trucks speed south.
Rise Up! the graffiti urges, but by evening
every sensible person has fled. The cratered
streets are empty now in Qamishli,
the shopfronts shuttered in Hasakah.