Flying in Afghanistan

Flying in Afghanistan
by Sara Shah

In plains of drizzled caramel swell towers

of venerable blue tiles. Cloaked with

geometric patterns and lacquered writings,

they gleam when the wedding marches

past the yawning mosque door


where, stumbling, the frazzled boy in the back

flicks his head to catch a glimpse

of the airplane above. The last one he’ll ever

see. The last one they’ll ever hear. He

watches as little flies emerge from beneath,

buzzing louder every second, growing

like the bugs in those subtitled American horror

movies he watches at the Bollywood cinema


and when the rattling ceases, he picks up

fragments of sticky red tile with brittle fingers.

Wonders if he can throw them faster

than bullets toward the aviator goggles

in the cockpit.


Sara Shah is currently a part-time student with a love for Japanese drumming, hip hop dancing, painting and sculpture. Her previous job working in a museum inspired a lifelong love for fine arts and education.