William Doreski

Drone Attack

Untitled Abstract by Miri Baruch

In Saudi Arabia a flock of drones descends on a refinery. After a stutter of explosions, flames glut on the world’s fuel supply, threatening a third world war. From sixty-four hundred miles away, I can smell the roasting desert air. What of the pilgrims always creeping toward Mecca? Can they cleanse that oil-stink from their lungs before they enter the holy city? How much deformation can a sacred text sustain? The crumpled blazing tanks look like eggs crushed in the carton. Pipes rumple like spaghetti. When I was a young firefighter, I learned how to contain oil fires with blasts of low-expansion foam spread over molten surfaces. Probably the Saudis have refined the technique. But the black smoke lingers. I can see it flirting overhead, far overhead, a smudge of guilt on everyone’s conscience. A few birds tall in the early autumn flicker through the mist without soiling themselves. Someday I should reform myself and embrace one or more of the sacred texts, make a pilgrimage to some obscure city that has forgotten the names of its gods.


About the writer:
William Doreski has published three critical studies and several collections of poetry. His poetry, essays, fiction, and reviews have appeared in many print and online journals. He has taught writing and literature at Emerson, Goddard, Boston University, and Keene State College. His most recent books are A Black River, A Dark Fall and Train to Providence.

Image: Untitled Abstract by Miri Baruch. Acrylic on canvas. 80 x 120 cm. By 2018. By permission.