Checkpoint

I drove Joel to the Dead Sea,
we circled Jerusalem,

in hindsight a preview
of Europe’s guarded future,

he sighted soldiers, boys and girls,
occasionally clumped,

common as olive trees,
drab, but uprooted too early,

guarding entry to and from
our concentration of gods;

also called, in Arabic,
al-Quds, that place,

the oldest city in the world,
within new walls, through new gates.

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