The girl who invited me
to live in her tent camp
so she could teach me Chechen
sat staring in the corner,
fearing that any motion
might trigger an explosion.
Grozny’s flats were levelled.
Dolls lay disembowelled on the floor.
Glass shards covered the earth.
The road’s yellow ribbon rolled
like a carpet, limning the edge
of my escape to Vladikavkaz.